14th March 2008

Chasing wafer fab projects in Singapore

I recently read this article in a book, Heart Works, which is a compilation of snippets by various high profilers on how the Economic Development Board (EDB), Singapore steered the country into the 21st century.

The article, authored by Mr. Lim Swee Say who held several senior appointments in EDB, recalls how they chased the wafer fab projects in Singapore in around 1994. In a great show of synergy, several players pitched in - banking community for funding, specialist manpower, training and knowledge upgrading schemes were made available to graduates and universities were roped in, National Science and Technology Board (now A*STAR) helped to build capabilities in wafer fab process and IC design technology and JTC Corporation pitched in with developing & servicing the fabs along with the service utility entities.

Their first wafer fab project was for Hitachi and an amusing anecdote is about how midway through digging up and preparing the land for the fab, they hit on a rubbish dump which had to be cleared away.

The news would have read “Singapore’s most modern fab sited on a rubbish dump”!

posted in Foundry, Trivia | 1 Comment

11th March 2008

Infineon sells HDD biz to LSI

Not too long back, quite a few companies, mostly ranking in the semicon top 10, counted a diverse portfolio as their strength. With the brutal and dynamic market conditions, this is becoming a luxury that only a few can afford. 

Following the trend of consolidation and focusing on core biz activities, Infineon will sell its hard disk drive (HDD) design and manufacture business to LSI Corp. LSI expects the acquisition will further its goal of becoming the leading worldwide provider of silicon solutions for hard-drive makers, especially at a time when the HDD market is going from mechanical to solid state drives. And they get an inlet to a top-tier customer, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

For Infineon, it is shedding a non-core biz, an area where they did not stand much of a chance amongst competitors like Marvell, LSI, TI and STMicroelectronics – and to focus its resources on its core businesses where it can be among the top few.

Just a year back, another acquisition between the same companies took place; albeit in a reverse direction - last August, Infineon agreed to pay $563.6 million to acquire LSI’s mobility products business to strengthen their position in mobile phone market. And the top tier customer base to be tapped there was Samsung.

They sure dig each others’ technology!!

 

posted in Semiconductor, Business, Mergers & Acquistions | 1 Comment

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