Malaysian Wafer Fabs Get US Ex-Im Bank Loan Boost

By Julian Matthews

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has approved loans worth $760 million to support two fledgling Malaysian wafer fabrication projects.

A spokesperson for the bank said its board of directors approved on Wednesday a $673.8 million long-term direct loan to wafer fabrication plant Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

This is the second loan extended to a Malaysian wafer fab start-up in three weeks. On May 4, the board had approved a $86.5 million guaranteed syndicated loan to 1st Silicon (M) Sdn Bhd, another wafer fab being constructed in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sarawak.

The loans lend credibility to Malaysia’s long-held ambitions to get into wafer fabrication services or the “front-end” of the semiconductor industry.
Read more

Malaysian fabs tipped for U.S. bank loans

By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR–Two wafer fabrication projects in Malaysia are being considered to receive financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), the official export credit agency of the U.S. government.

The managements of startup fabs 1st Silicon (M) Sdn Bhd and Silterra (M) Sdn Bhd have confirmed that a bank representative made site visits to evaluate the two projects this month.

1st Silicon chief executive Claudio G. Loddo cited “significant progress” from the recent meeting. “The bank has been in contact with us since early this year and is evaluating and considering significant opportunities in Malaysia,” he said.
Read more

Wafer fabs in Malaysia: the race has begun

By Julian Matthews

A race to build Malaysia’s first commercial wafer fabrication plant has begun in earnest. Three projects are in the reckoning in anticipation of a sudden spike in worldwide demand for wafers come 2001. The fabs are led by 1st Silicon (M) Sdn Bhd, Wafer Technology Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Mimos Bhd.

By a quirk of geographical fate, all three are situated a few hundred kilometers from each other, but distance accounts for nothing when one is constantly looking over one’s shoulder. Their stock reply that the market is big enough to accommodate three new players belies growing rivalry. Already they seem all geared up for battle mode.

In May, Wafer Technology Malaysia (WTM) threw its hat into the ring when it set up a sales office in Sunnyvale, California, and claimed it was ready to take orders for prototypes even though the plant would not be ready in a year.

Not to be outdone, 1st Silicon said it will set up a sales office in the Silicon Valley by the third quarter of this year.

Mimos, notably the least ambitious of the three new combatants, remained hushed about its marketing strategy except to say it was “looking at global customers”.

The jostling to secure customers has turned the heat on in an industry otherwise dampened by the fallout from the regional crisis and marred by inventory overruns.
Read more

Government’s Wafer Fab On Schedule

The Sarawak state government’s plan to build a US$1 billion wafer fabrication plant on the rainforest-clad island of Borneo is on schedule.

“There will be no more delays. The fab will be up and qualified by the third quarter of 2000 and in production by the end of that year,” said Claudio G Loddo, chief executive officer of start-up 1st Silicon (M) Sdn Bhd.

The 1st Silicon fab, is being built on a 39.4 hectare site at the Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone, near Kuching, and will have a 8,500 sq m Class 100K cleanroom. It will be a pure-play foundry.
Read more

Malaysian IC Wafer Fabs Yet to Start Operating

By Julian Matthews

December 17, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Two government-backed advanced wafer fabrication plants at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Malaysia have yet to get off the ground.

Sources close to the projects said they were affected by the global chip market downturn and the inability to raise local or foreign funding.

Such delays underline the severity of Malaysia’s battered economy and its souring investment climate.

Read more

Govt Partners Atmel, VLSI to Build 0.25mm Fabs

The Malaysian government has signed separate deals with Silicon Valley-based semiconductor manufacturers Atmel Corp and VLSI Technology Inc to set up wafer fabrication plants in the country.

Both plants are to be located at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park, in the northern state of Kedah, and scheduled to be operational earliest by third quarter of 1999.

The plants will be the first advanced wafer fabs in the country producing 200mm wafers using 0.25µm technology.

Read more

VLSI Sets Up Wafer Foundry with Local Startup Firm

By Julian Matthews

US semiconductor manufacturer VLSI Technology Inc is teaming up with local startup firm Wafer Technology Malaysia Sdn Bhd to set up a US$1.2 billion wafer foundry at the Kulim High-Tech Industrial Park in Kedah.

To be ready in two years, the plant will manufacture complex logic circuits on 8-inch silicon wafers using 0.35µm CMOS process technology.

Wafer Technology Malaysia chairman Mohamed Saleh Ghazali said the plant, when fully operational, will process 30,000 wafers monthly mainly for export to the United States.
Read more