FREIBURG, Germany - May 15, 2000 - Micronas has just broken ground for a second fab module situated adjacent to its existing fab in Freiburg, Germany. The new fab extension is scheduled to start production in March 2001.
The new module 2 involves a CHF 45 million (US $ 25 million) investment and will increase the available cleanroom space to 3,900 square meters. The additional space will allow Micronas to meet increasing demand for its products, which include consumer, multimedia, and automotive ICs. The new expansion comes shortly after the expansion of module 1, representing a CHF 180 million (US $ 125 million) investment, was completed.
In the first phase of construction, Micronas will invest CHF 45 million in module 2 for building construction and the installation of 20 percent of the new cleanroom's equipment. This will increase Micronas´ overall capacity by 15 percent. When needed, Micronas will be ready to install additional equipment for production of next-generation technologies.
"For the past three years, Micronas has followed a strategy of continuously adding capacity based on a modular expansion concept," said Nikolaus V. Kaeppeler, vice president operations front-end. "This allows us to adjust our capacity to match market requirements, yet keep the ratio of investment to sales at a reasonable level. At the same time, we avoid over-capacity while granting on-time delivery to our customers."
Micronas highlights the importance of running its own fab to maintain its technology leadership in mixed signal processes. According to Kaeppeler, "mixed signal design process technology is one of the key differentiators. We need to develop processes in our own fab and provide capacity for volume production in-house, in addition to outsourcing to foundries."
Environmental issues are a key aspect in the construction of the new fab as they have been for all of Micronas' previous expansion phases. Micronas' production facilities have all been designed to save consumables, water and energy.