Fujitsu plans new US$1 billion chip plant in Japan

Fujitsu is planning to construct a new semiconductor manufacturing plant in Japan to produce a range of integrated circuits, it said Wednesday.

Fujitsu is planning to construct a new semiconductor manufacturing plant in Japan to produce a range of integrated circuits, the company said Wednesday.

The factory, which represents an investment of YEN 120 billion (AU$1.3 billion) over the next two years, will have a 65-nanometer class production line able to handle 300 millimeter semiconductor wafers.

A nanometer is a millionth of a millimeter and the measurement refers the size of the smallest feature it can support on the chip's surface. A smaller number means a more advanced production line.

Most chip manufacturers currently operate 90-nanometer lines although some companies, such as Intel, have already started running 65-nanometer lines.

The factory is scheduled to be constructed alongside an existing Fujitsu plant in Mie prefecture, west Japan, in the company's 2006 fiscal year, which runs from April 2006 to March 2007. Production is planned to begin in April 2007 and volume production will start in July 2007, Fujitsu said in a statement. By the end of March 2008, production should be running at up to 10,000 wafers per month.

Further investments -- the timing and size of which were not announced -- will take volume production to a maximum 25,000 wafers per month, said Fujitsu.

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Martyn Williams

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