Qimonda expands footprint in Asia

Memory chip maker will invest about 2 billion euros (US$2.7 billion) in a manufacturing plant in Singapore to be closer to its Asia-Pacific customers.

SINGAPORE--Qimonda announced Thursday plans to establish a new 300mm manufacturing plant in the island-state, its first fully-owned facility of this type in the Asia-Pacific region.

To be built at a cost of about 2 billion euros (US$2.7 billion) over the next five years, the new fab will have 20,000 square meters clean room space and more than 1,500 staff, according to the company in a statement.

The facility is expected to add 60,000 wafer starts each month to Qimonda's overall front-end capacity when operating at full capacity.

Construction of the plant is scheduled to commence by the end of this year and production is projected to start in 2009.

"We are responding to the fast-growing DRAM market and are moving closer to our customers in Asia," Loh Kin Wah, president and CEO of Qimonda, said in a statement. "With the new fab, we put ourselves in the position to fully benefit from our technological expertise, to drive our product roll-out more rapidly and to leverage economies of scale in Asia."

He added: "Our investment in Singapore is a major step to expand our regional presence in the Asian market, [and] we are addressing several strategic objectives at once."

On the reasons for locating the facility in Singapore, Loh said: "The overall package of low taxation, incentives and factors such as highly skilled labor and strong infrastructure makes Singapore our place of choice to implement our fully-owned volume production in the Asian market."

Headquartered in Munich, Germany, Qimonda was spun off from Infineon last May and sells DRAM memory products.