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Toshiba fab expansion in China halted by SARS fears

Posted: 03 Jun 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:toshiba? sars? cmos? fukuoka?

Toshiba Corp. is temporarily suspending the expansion of a China-based assembly and test facility due to a rising concern over the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic, which has made it difficult to send engineers there. The company said the move is a precautionary measure and no one at the facility has been infected with the virus.

Toshiba Semiconductor (Wuxi) Co. Ltd, in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, specializes in bipolar and Bi-CMOS ICs for television and audio applications. It was originally a joint venture established in 1994 with Huajin Electronics Group Corp., but Toshiba made it a fully owned subsidiary last July.

After gaining full control, Toshiba had planned on expanding capacity from 3 million units a month to 30 million units a month within two years, investing about $42 million. The expansion is meant to handle growing demand in China, which is expected to absorb 10 percent of the world's ICs by 2010, the company said. Toshiba wants to have a China-based manufacturing facility to handle local procurement, especially last-minute rush orders.

After the SARS virus is fully under control in China, Toshiba will reinitiate the expansion, a spokesman said. Until then, a Toshiba subsidiary in Fukuoka will handle any additional spillover from the Chinese facility.

- Yoshiko Hara

EE Times

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