Chipmaking: August 2009 Archives

It looks as though TSMC has claimed the first of its fab-transfer plan customers. I was bit surprised that the first deal sees the effective closure of a 200mm facility - it's up for sale but good luck selling one of these right now - rather than an older 150mm line.

However, IDT's fab in Hillsboro is primarily aimed at running digital devices on geometries down to 130nm rather than parts with a high analogue-circuitry component, which are generally harder to transfer. But, the economics of production have shifted strongly in favour of fab lines running 200mm or larger wafers.

Hillsboro will not close immediately - assuming that IDT does not find a buyer with a plan to keep the plant open - as it will take two years to transfer all the products. With the move, IDT will go from being a fab-lite company to fabless.