NEWPORT, Wales -- Power semiconductor maker International Rectifier Corp. plans spend $40 million at a wafer fab here to expand the workforce and double production capacity, the company said Friday (May 28).
The expansion includes bringing on-line the processing of 200-millimeter diameter wafers and the manufacture of high-voltage ICs, the company said. The HVIC silicon produced on the 200-mm wafer line would be used for integrated motor controllers for industrial, appliance and automotive applications, IR said.
"IR-Newport is one of our most advanced facilities and, as such, an important part of our business strategy. Since the acquisition, IR has invested over $66 million to expand our production capabilities in the 150-mm facility and has increased the staff by more than 100," said Alex Lidow, IR's chief executive officer, in a statement.
In the same statement The First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan said: "I am very pleased that the Welsh Assembly Government has played a key role in the company's expansion in Newport through a Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant. Our backing for this project has been crucial in securing a future for Newport's semiconductor manufacturing skill base and demonstrates International Rectifier's commitment to develop skilled R&D and operations openings here in the region."
The size of the grant was not revealed.
International Rectifier acquired the Newport facility in 2002. It had previously been European Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. Before that the facility was Newport Wafer Fab Ltd., a prior to that it was owned by STMicroelectronics. It was originally built in as a manufacturing facility for the UK's state-owned chip maker Inmos Ltd.