Sarawak-backed X-Fab invests in wafer fab

November 17, 2015 // By Peter Clarke
More-than-Moore chipmaker X-Fab Silicon Foundries SE (Erfurt, Germany) has announced it will invest $114 million in its wafer fab in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, to meet demand for 0.18-micron and 0.35-micron manufacturing.

The investment will be made between 2015 and 2017 and includes capital expenditure of about $29 million being made in the current year. Revenue from the Sarawak wafer fab has grown 25 percent for each of the past two years and similar growth is expected for the next two years, making the investment necessary, X-Fab said in a statement.

The state of Sarawak is a major shareholder in the X-Fab Group and so has an interest in the success of the company and of its Asian wafer fab.

Sarawak has been in a shareholder in X-Fab since the company took over the Kuching wafer fab through a merger of 1st Silicon (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. and X-Fab Semiconductor Foundries AG in 2006. The site now produces analog and mixed-signal circuits for use in automotive, industrial and medical applications.

"X-Fab's operation in Sarawak has been driving the growth of local economy. They are employing more than 1,000 staff where more than 80 percent of them are considered to be high-income earners. We believe that this expansion will act as a catalyst in attracting other high technology firms to establish their operations in Malaysia as they will be able to leverage on the wafer fabrication services provided by X-FAB,” said Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, in the same statement.

"The State of Sarawak as a major shareholder is very satisfied with the recent development of both the X-FAB Group and, more specifically, the profitable growth of X-Fab Sarawak, said Dato' Seri Tarmizi Hj. Sulaiman, chairman of the board of X-Fab Silicon Foundries SE.

Rudi De Winter, CEO of X-Fab said that in 2016 he expected production at X-Fab Sarawak to be reponsibile for more than 50 percent of the group's total revenue for the first time.

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