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Austria-based AMS to buy wafer fab in Asia

Posted: 09 Sep 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:AMS? Asia? manufacturing? 200mm? wafer fab?

AMS AG, previously known as austriamicrosystems, is set to expand its internal foundry and manufacturing operations, looking eastwards to purchase a mature 200mm wafer fab.

The Austria-based analogue semiconductor manufacturer said it is partial to a 200mm fab that has perhaps run its course as a supplier of digital ICs now mainly produced on 300mm fabs. AMS would then install its own analogue manufacturing processes, which support its specialisation in high-precision analogue, high voltage power IC and sensor production, according to CEO Kirk Laney.

Laney revealed his intention to expand AMS' manufacturing in an interview with EE Times Europe, saying he was 95 per cent certain that the fab acquisition would not be in Europe.

"We're look[ing] for a dollar-based fab," and one in Asia could be a good fit, Laney said. He did not disclose, however, how quickly he expected to close a wafer fab acquisition or how much it was likely to cost.

"There are a lot of considerations when exploring these opportunities. It is about finding the right sort of relationship, because this will be a transition process." Laney indicated it was likely that the target fab would have some product running through it that AMS would be prepared to take over as a "legacy contract," while introducing its own products and foundry manufacturing.

AMS currently has a manufacturing capacity of 160,000 wafers per year at its 200mm wafer fab in Unterpremstaetten. This offers CMOS, HVCMOS and SiGe processes at geometries of 0.8?, 0.35? and 180nm. The company also maintains technology partnerships with TSMC and IBM, as well as a foundry partnership with UMC.

Founded as a joint venture between American Microsystems Inc. (AMI) and Austrian state-controlled steelmaker Voest Alpine AG, AMS has operated a wafer fab at Unterpremstaetten since the early 1980s.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times Europe

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