LONDON – Despite the impending closure of a German wafer fab, LFoundry GmbH is continuing operations and is looking to expand sales based on output from its French wafer fab, Lfoundry Rousset SAS.
Michael Lehnert, CEO of Lfoundry GmbH, told EE Times that the wafer fab in Germany – named Landshut Silicon Foundry GmbH – is insolvent and has an administrator in place. Lehnert added that Landshut Silicon Foundry GmbH is a separate, parallel entity to Lfoundry GmbH. Lfoundry GmbH continues and has a sustainable future based on its ownership of Lfoundry Rousset, Lehnert said.
Lehnert said that 60 employees out of 295 remain at Landshut Silicon Foundry GmbH, the rest having already been laid off. "The decision has been made to shut down the fab and sell off the equipment," Lehnert said.
Landshut Silicon Foundry and Lfoundry GmbH are owned by the same set of shareholders, according to a chart supplied by Lfoundry GmbH. However, Lfoundry GmbH does not own 100 percent of Lfoundry Rousset SAS. Lfoundry was originally formed around the acquisition of a wafer fab from Renesas in 2008. The legal structure changed when it acquired the Rousset fab, Lehnert said.
Organizational structure of Lfoundry. Source Lfoundry GmbH
Lfoundry GmbH has issued a press release providing guidance for its 2011 financial year. The company said that Lfoundry Rousset has achieved 46 million euros (about $62 million) in revenues for the first six months of its fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The goal is to exceed 100 million euro (about $136 million) in revenues for the fiscal year ending March 2012. LFoundry Rousset however anticipates some demand slowdown in 2012 due to the global economic crisis.
The company said it has the support of partners and with that support it expects annual revenues to reach 150 million euro (about $200 million) within three years.
Since its formation in June 2009 Lfoundry Rousset has been developing
technologies targeted at added value applications such as smartcard,
defense and aerospace, automotive and energy management. Meanwhile a subisidiary company, Lfoundry Technologies GmbH located in Germany, employs about 30 people, said Lehnert. "They are working on developing process technologies, PDKs [physical design kits] and providing engineering services," said Lehnert.
Lfoundry Rousset is not endangered by the closure of the Landshut fab and will continue to execute its development plan, the company said, adding that it is encouraged by recent agreements with customers and strategic partners.
Jean-Pierre Delesse, president of Lfoundry Rousset SAS, said that the only way Lfoundry Rousset was affected by the insolvency of Landshut Silicon Foundry (LSF) was in relation to some equipment that Lfoundry Rousset had bought from LSF which had been frozen by the administrator.
Meanwhile the Lfoundry Rousset wafer fab is busy fulfilling legacy contracts for Atmel, introducing the 150-nm CMOS process that was previously in production at LSF and developing a 110-nm CMOS with flash non-volatile memory extensions, Delesse said. Contracts with Atmel will last for at least two years, Delesse said, adding that Lfoundry Rousset is also capable of running other customers' process recipes for critical dimensions in the range 130-nm to 350-nm.
As of September 2011 Lfoundry Rousset employed 788 staff including 185 engineers. The wafer fab runs 200-mm diameter wafers through a clean room of 12,000 square meters. It has a manufacturing capacity of about 25,000 wafer starts per month, according to data provided by the company.
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