TAIPEI, TAIWAN , December 12, 2000, Starting with its groundbreaking in December 1999, WIN Semiconductors Corporation has taken just 12 months for facility construction, equipment installation, process development and validation. Today, at a well-attended ceremony, WIN officially announced its grand opening.
WIN Semiconductors has built the world's first 6" GaAs wafer fab for pure-play MMIC foundry services. The new facility is capable of producing more than 100,000 6" GaAs wafers per year in its 20,000 square foot, ballroom style, cleanroom. This configuration was chosen as it offers maximum flexibility for equipment placement and manufacturing efficiency. More than 80% of the manufacturing equipment will be fully automated. This is much higher than all existing GaAs fabs where the automation level is usually around 30%. A high level of equipment automation improves manufacturing control and contributes to high processing yield. WIN Semiconductors also presented Asia's first 6" 2um InGaP HBT MMIC and 0.5um pHEMT wafers to its guests during the ceremony. In addition, the company also demonstrated its ability to handle the difficult and challenging "backside" process technology on 6" GaAs wafers. The final thickness of a fully completed GaAs wafer is only 100um. WIN is the only company in Taiwan that can offer this technology to the industry.
Ocean Hsieh, Chairman of WIN Semiconductors, announced during the ceremony that there was a significant meaning in the Grand Opening of the company. In addition to being the world's first, pure-play foundry service provider offering 6" GaAs process technologies, WIN has enhanced the position of Taiwan's wireless communication semiconductor industry in the global market. The two-character Chinese name of the company represents the management philosophies. The first character represents stability, sincerity, and long life. The second character represents high technology, and high return to shareholders. Also, the English name of the company, WIN, represents the target markets for the company. They are the rapidly growing Wireless, Information and Networking markets. It also signifies win-win situations for customers, suppliers, shareholders, and employees. WIN is dedicated to serving its global customers with the most advanced processes and highest quality services possible. Customer Satisfaction is the company's first priority.
Dr. Chan-Shin Wu, President and CEO, emphasized that the company was ready to offer 6" wafer foundry service to the industry. He said, "Our Grand Opening represents another milestone for the wireless communications semiconductor foundry industry. We are glad to be a pioneer in the communication semiconductor industry, and to provide advanced and stable processes, high capacity and advanced manufacturing efficiency. In the past, Most companies focused only on R&D. Owing to the limited market demand, the concept of high volume manufacturing service has not been widely considered. WIN has attracted over twenty professionals from the US and Europe to join the company. By combining these talents with the domestic high volume wafer manufacturing professionals, we are confident in our ability to maintain our leadership in technology, capacity and service during every stage of our development. In the future, the driving factors for wireless communications will be high frequency, high performance and broadband applications. Backed by our technical capabilities and our manufacturing experience, we are confident that we will a play crucial role in the supply of critical microwave components to the wireless communications sector."
WIN Semiconductors has already started accepting customers' test circuits for prototyping and process qualifications. WIN plans to accept production orders starting in March 2001. Their annual capacity in 2001 will reach 10,000 6" wafers.
Currently, the total global annual GaAs MMIC output is between 200,000 and 250,000 6" equivalent wafers. In the next four to five years, the annual demand for 6" MMIC wafers will reach 1 million. Furthermore, the high-speed optical communications and fixed wireless broadband markets are rapidly growing and will create a huge demand of MMIC wafers. In order to accommodate the ever-increasing demand, WIN plans to gradually increase the manufacturing capacity and to introduce more advanced processing technologies. The company plans to produce more than 10,000 6" wafers in 2001 and 30,000 wafers in 2002. In 2004, the company will reach the maximum capacity of 100,000 6" wafers per year.