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Buzz: Samsung to build IC plant in Philippines

Posted: 24 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Philippine IC plant? test and assembly? back-end facility?

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd is considering investing $1 billion in a semiconductor plant in the Philippines, according to a Reuters report.

The report, however, did not specify whether the plant is a front-or back-end facility. But most believe that Samsung is looking to build a back-end test and assembly plant in the Clark Special Economic Zone, according to the Sun.Star.

For years, the Philippines has been a haven for back-end assembly. Intel Corp., Texas Instruments Inc. and others have plants in that nation.

Once one of hot spots for IC test and assembly, the Philippines has somewhat lost its competitiveness to China, Vietnam and other nations. The Philippines suffers from a range of issues, including soaring labor rates and electricity problems.

After years of talk, the Philippines has yet to build a front-end semiconductor plant due to infrastructure problems.

And in another blow, Intel is said to be "ramping down" its IC-assembly and test facility in the Philippines, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Last year, however, TI said it would expand its IC-assembly and test operations in the Philippines by building a new plant at a cost of $1 billion.

Seeking to meet exploding demand, solar-cell supplier SunPower Corp. said it plans to build its third solar cell fabrication plant in Malaysia. Until now, SunPower's production plants have been located exclusively in the Philippines.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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