TSMC names new president of U.S.-based WaferTech foundry venture
HSINCHU, Taiwan -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. this week named its senior vice president of operations as the new president of
WaferTech LLC, a U.S. joint-venture foundry operation based in Camas,
Wash. WaferTech is jointly owned by TSMC, Altera Corp., Analog Devices
Inc., and Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. (ISSI).
Steve Tso replaces WaferTech's founding president, Ken
Smith, who submitted his resignation for personal reasons, according
to TSMC chairman Morris Chang. Tso has been with TSMC since January
1997, when he joined the silicon foundry company as vice president of
research and development. He has also been TSMC's senior vice president of
worldwide marketing and sales.
Prior to joining TSMC, Tso held management positions at Applied
Materials Inc. and SGS-Thomson Microelectronics.
Wafertech's ramp up into production has disappointed TSMC, which is now
hoping new fab management will help bring improve yields to the level of
its Taiwan foundry operations (see March 28 story).
During a press conference in Hsinchu on Wednesday, Chang said Smith had made "significant
contributions to build WaferTech to almost 1,000 employees, producing
almost 20,000 wafers per month." Smith was president of the joint-venture
fab for four years.
WaferTech is close to breaking even, and it made a profit during a
couple months last year, Chang said. The TSMC chief executive officer
added that WaferTech's costs were still higher than TSMC's Taiwan fabs
partly because it is a relatively small, stand-alone manufacturing plant.
Higher costs for U.S. labor and construction have also made it more
difficult for WaferTech to maintain profitability, according to Chang.
But Chang reiterated his commitment to the U.S. foundry venture, saying
that TSMC was planning expansions at WaferTech in the near future. These
expansions will help lower wafer-processing costs by establishing a
cluster of fabs similar to those now existing in Hsinchu, Chang said.
"We recognized some of the disadvantages when we went in to the U.S.
joint venture," he explained. "We expect as we go further into this and
work more closely with WaferTech and expand the operations, some of the
cost disadvantages will disappear." --J. Robert Lineback in Taiwan
Cirrus exec. leaves for Colorado MicroDisplay
BOULDER, Colo. -- Kenney R. Roberts has resigned his
position as senior vice president of worldwide operations for Cirrus Logic Inc. of Milpitas, Calif., to become the new president and chief operating officer of Colorado
MicroDisplay Inc. here.
Current CMD president and chief executive officer Mark Willner will turn over day-to-day operations to Roberts, but will remain CEO. Roberts will be given responsibility for CMD's manufacturing, quality, finance, development engineering, logistics, human
resources, and information systems.
"Kenney brings a wealth of experience in semiconductor engineering and foundry
operations," said Willner. "In particular, he is accustomed to running the production operations of a $600 million specialized semiconductor manufacturer
that operates without its own foundry, and that experience will be directly applicable to CMD as we ramp up the manufacturing volumes of our microdisplays and chip sets."
Roberts has spent more than 25 year in the semiconductor field, including 7 years with Cirrus, 10 years in engineering and product line management at Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and 9 years with Mostek.
Cypress beefs up manufacturing management
SAN JOSE -- Cypress Semiconductor Corp. here has appointed Robert Morse to the post of vice president of production planning.
Reporting to Cypress vice president of manufacturing Richard Freeman, Morse is tasked with managing the chip company's production control and order fulfillment systems.
Calling his approach to business processes and systems "holistic," Morse said his aim is to integrate sales, marketing, planning, logistics, finance and
manufacturing to enhance the company's responsiveness and customer-service.
"Demand fluctuations in volume and product mix must be comprehended and
executed upon quickly and intelligently throughout the supply chain without
adding significant administrative costs," Morse said. "Under Cypress's Total
Productive Manufacturing initiative, the company has increased quality while
decreasing cycle time and time to market. The goal is to build on that track
Morse's industry background includes work with both Intel Corp. and Integrated Device Technology Inc. Through his 20-year career, he has held a variety of positions including fab area manager, static RAM product line director, director of operations, and
director of corporate planning.
Micromem names head of memory subsidiary Pageant
TORONTO, Ontatio -- Micromem Technologies Inc. has named Raymond E. Butler as chief executive officer of its wholly owned subsidiary, Pageant Technologies (USA) Inc.
Pageant is focused solely on the research, development and licensing of Magram memory technology, a combination with non-volatility and random read/write access, making it a potentially superior replacement to current digital memory.
Butler joins Micromem from NetSales, of Kansas City, Kan., where he served
as executive vice president. Previously he was managing director for Bell Atlantic Corporation, Asia Pacific and the president and CEO of Bell Atlantic
The company's former CEO, Stephen B. Fleming, will remain with the organization as member of Micromem's board of directors.