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Diodes to buy onsemi South Portland fab

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty


Onsemi has signed a deal to sell its 200mm power and analog fab in South Portland, Maine, US, to Diodes Inc.

The ‘fab liter’ deal follows the sale of its fab in Oudenaarde, Belgium last month to a consortium of investors for production of gallium nitride power devices.

“The proposed divestitures show that we are well on our way to achieve an optimized manufacturing network while supporting our customers with long-term assurance of supply,” said Hassane El-Khoury, president and chief executive officer of onsemi. “The transactions provide employees at the affected fabs with continued employment and growth opportunities while allowing onsemi to transition production from these fabs to other manufacturing sites in an orderly manner.”

The South Portland Facility (SPFAB) has 85k sq ft of clean room space, located on a 20 acre campus with 371k sq ft of building space with 0.18um to 1.5um analog CMOS, BCDMOS, Bipolar and SiC EPI process technologies.

The fab has had a number of owners over the years. It was established by Gil Amelio and Brian Halla of National Semiconductor for $1bn, opening in 1997 after the company divested its fab in Israel that became Tower Semiconductor, now being bought by Intel.

The South Portland site was peculiar as half of the fab was operated by National, while the other half was operated by Fairchild, which had spun out of National in 1997. National was bought by Texas Instruments in 2011, which still operates the fab, currently recruiting process engineers and machine technicians. In the meantime, Fairchild was bought by onsemi in 2016, which has been selling off a number of fabs to focus on production at its 300mm fab in New York State which is starting this year.

The South Portland deal will give Diodes additional 200mm wafer fab capacity for analog products to accelerate its growth initiatives in the automotive and industrial end markets. Diodes also bought TI’s Scottish fab in Greenock, UK, another former National Semiconductor fab, as well as the former Ferranti fab in Manchester, UK, when it acquired Zetex Semiconductor in 2008.

“The proposed acquisition of the South Portland Facility aligns well with our strategic objective for significant revenue and profit dollar growth over the next several years,” said Dr. Keh-Shew Lu, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Diodes. “The team’s exceptional engineering capabilities and skills will support our technical and operational performance expectations and are a welcomed addition to the Diodes’ family. Moreover, adding SPFAB to our manufacturing footprint will allow Diodes to support increasing customer demand through expanded capacity and internal manufacturing flexibility, further strengthening Diodes’ competitive advantage in this supply constrained environment. We are very enthusiastic about this acquisition and its value to Diodes’ future technology roadmap.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.

www.onsemi.com; www.diodes.com

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