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Semicon equipment supplier taps Singapore as global HQ

Posted: 02 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Novellus Singapore headquarters? international headquarters Singapore? Novellus semiconductor equipment? Novellus SG HQ?

Hill: More than 60 percent of our revenues come from Asia. It is therefore important for us to build up our presence in the region.

Semiconductors is the largest segment in Singapore's electronics sector. The industry generated a manufacturing output of about $26 billion in 2006, which is 48 percent of the nation's electronics manufacturing output, according to the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). Singapore was also ranked second in wafer output by country last year by research firm Strategic Marketing Associates.

Thus, it is not surprising that Novellus Systems Inc., a company that supplies semiconductor process equipment, has selected Singapore as its international headquarters (IHQ) for its operations outside the U.S.

"We established an international headquarters to realign our company with the needs of a customer base that had shifted over the years," explained Richard Hill, chairman of the board and CEO of Novellus. "Today, more than 60 percent of our revenues each year come from Asia. It is therefore important for us to build up our presence in the region."

Novellus celebrated the official opening of its IHQ on April 26. The company's procurement and financial support functions for Asia will now move to Singapore, while its R&D operations will remain in the U.S. The company is already providing process engineering support to its customers at the 90-45nm nodes, and will support the local wafer manufacturing industry as it gears up for 32nm.

"Singapore offered several advantages, including availability of a good technical and business talent pool; widespread usage of English, enabling ease of communication with corporate headquarters; and excellent infrastructure and strong IP protection," Hill shared.

Increase in staff strength
Novellus supplies chemical vapor deposition, physical vapor deposition, electrochemical deposition, chemical mechanical planarization, ultraviolet thermal processing and surface preparation equipment used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. The company first established its presence in Singapore in November 1995, starting out as a sales and support office with a staff of 15. The company now has more than 100 employees engaged in sales and customer support, finance as well as human resource functions.

Hill disclosed that Novellus is looking to increase staff strength in Singapore by 20 percent over the next few years. "With support functions for Asia such as finance, HR, supply chain management and process engineering support based in Singapore, we look forward to better supporting our customers as they gear up for next-generation technology advances," he said.

Local clients include Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Tech Semiconductors, ST Microelectronics and Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Co. Pte. Ltd.

"We expect our new international headquarters to strengthen our relationships with customers based in Asia. As more wafer fabrication plants are built in the region, Novellus' strategic location here will help us to respond faster and enhance our support for customers," Hill added.

- Margarette M. Teodosio
EE Times-Asia

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