NEC to Invest $2.8B in New Japan, U.S. Chip Fabs

TOKYO (04/21/2000) - NEC Corp. unveiled plans today to build two new chip fabrication plants, one in Japan and one in the U.S., at a total cost of 300 billion yen (US$2.8 billion).

The company, one of the world's largest manufacturers of semiconductors, will build the plant in Hiroshima, Japan, and Roseville, California, said company spokesman Aston Bridgman. The Hiroshima plant is expected to enter production in 2002 and the Roseville plant a year later.

Both will produce semiconductors at 0.13 micron levels, the current leading edge commercial production process in the industry, and will be NEC's first plants to make use of 12 inch (300 millimeter) diameter silicon wafers. At present most semiconductor manufacturing is done on 8 inch wafers but companies are now eyeing a switch to the larger wafer size because more chips can be realized from a single wafer and costs can be reduced.

The Hiroshima plant will be exclusively devoted to manufacturing DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chips, and will most likely start with 512M bit products, while the Roseville plant will have a broader base manufacturing both memory chips and other semiconductors, said Bridgman. NEC expects output at each plant to hit 20,000 of the 12-inch wafers per month when full scale production begins.

NEC, in Tokyo, can be found online at http://www.nec.co.jp/.

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