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Infineon puts Newport fab up for sale

Posted: 08 May 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wafer fab? Newport Wales? analogue IC? power semiconductor?

Infineon Technologies AG is seeking a buyer for its Newport Wales wafer fab, which it has inherited as part of its acquisition of International Rectifier Corp., according to a South Wales Argus report.

The report says that no redundancies are planned and that in the short-term workloads will increase as production is transferred from a former IR wafer fab in Singapore due to be closed down by the end of 2015.

The process of finding a buyer for the 200mm wafer diameter Newport fab, which employs 540 people, could take up to two-and-a-half years, the report says staff were told. The wafer fab makes analogue ICs and power semiconductors according to a recent International Rectifier description.

Newport fab

Infineon has sent out a letter to customers providing some information about what is happening at these manufacturing sites. The letter, which has been published on Infineon's website, says the company will continue with International Rectifier's strategy of transferring technologies to silicon foundries. It added that operations would continue at Newport until the end of calendar year 2017.

"The majority of technologies and products are already qualified in other manufacturing sites, further transfers are in progress and will be complemented by transfers into the major Infineon sites," the letter stated.

The letter added that products manufactured at Singapore Techview are already qualified and in volume production at other sites. "We plan to ramp down the Singapore Techview manufacturing site by the end of calendar year 2015," the letter said.

It added that consolidation of sales offices had begun as well as the convergence of customer-facing information technology.

The South Wales Argus quoted an unnamed Infineon spokesperson saying: "Newport staff was told this morning [April 28] that a process has been started to find a buyer for the site and transition it over to a new owner. That will mean an increase in production in Newport, which will be secure at maximum levels at least until the end of 2016. Throughout 2017 it will then transition to the new owner."

The factory building was originally commissioned by Inmos as site for the manufacturing of its transputer processor.

An Infineon spokesperson told EE Times Europe that it was too early to talk about specific potential buyers but that the company expected considerable interest from across the industry. "We concentrate now on marketing the facility and continue improving operational performance. We are going to in-source additional volume from Singapore and will also increase the overall capacity by about 5 per cent," the spokesperson said.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times Europe

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