FRANKFURT-ODER, Germany -- Construction work is continuing at Communicant Semiconductor
Technologies AG, the silicon-germanium foundry being built in eastern Germany, but the company is waiting on government guarantees to allow funding to be realized, according to a source who asked not to be named.
A webcam that claims to show the wafer fab construction site could be viewed here when this story was first posted. Study of the webcam over several days appears to confirm that construction activity is continuing at Communicant's wafer fab.
A spokesman for the company said there was concern that the regional government of Brandenburg and the federal government of Germany were changing their positions on guaranteeing loans, but that he was hopeful of positive news in a week or two.
One year ago Communicant reported approval by the European Union of a system of German government subsidies and loan guarantees worth up to $365 million. A debt facility with commercial banks worth $650 million was said to hinge on the government subsidies and loans (see October 30, 2003 story).
Some of the recent concerns may in turn be due to shift of position in the Gulf state of Dubai, which has been a prime mover in the Communicant project. The deep recession in the semiconductor industry has been one factor against bringing a foundry supplier of silicon-germanium chips to market quickly.
The Communicant spokesman said that a Germany government official was expected to return from talks in Dubai within two days before flying off to United States.
A second backer of the project is Intel Corp., which provided an investment in kind in the form of a base-line CMOS manufacturing process.