Micron expands Singapore NAND flash memory fab facility

Chipmaker has completed expansion works on its NAND flash memory fabrication facility, estimated to cost US$4 billion "over a number of years".

Micron Technology has completed expansion works on its NAND flash memory fabrication facility in Singapore, adding some 255,000 square feet of clean room space.

The chipmaker first announced the expansion plans in December 2014, which it said would cost US$4 billion "over a number of years" starting in fiscal 2016 and was one of its largest investments in the country. It added that the expansion would support 3D NAND production and provide flexibility to gradually increase capacity in response to market demand.

Micron CEO Mark Durcan said at the opening Monday: "This expansion is a critical piece of Micron's global strategy as the storage industry transitions to 3D NAND to increase efficiency, capacity, and performance."

The expanded facility is expected to reach "substantial output" in 2017, according to the company, which employs some 7,500 across four manufacturing facilities in Singapore. The site is estimated to be able to produce 140,000 300-mm 3D NAND flash wafers each month.

Noting that the expansion meant the Singapore site now was Micron's largest NAND wafer fab facility globally, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said data increasingly was generated from a wide range of sources and driven by technological developments, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, and e-commerce.

These, Tharman added, had transformed business models as well as consumer behaviour and pushed demand for cheaper and better data storage capabilities. "Flash memory, with its ability offer faster performance in smaller form factors, will be critical to a whole range of consumer and enterprise applications," he said.

According to the deputy prime minister, Micron's latest expansion would lead to 500 new jobs that included fab process and manufacturing equipment engineers, responsible for the production of 3D NAND flash memory.

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