The UK’s biggest wafer fab wants to become even bigger
Newport Wafer Fab, Infineon’s former manufacturing fab in South Wales, is looking to raise GBP 50 million to expand its production capacity amidst global semiconductor shortage.
The plan comes on the heels of record orders for the company’s power supply chips, which are high in demand from the auto industry – especially now as the shortage has halted production lines at several carmakers. The company intends to use the investment to increase its production levels from 8’000 wafers per week to 14’000, according to report from the Telegraph. Newport’s chairman, Drew Nelson, told the Telegraph that demand had “absolutely skyrocketed” over the last three months; which has very much been fuelled by the global shortage and the rise of EV’s. The company is currently talking to several venture capital and private equity firms regarding an investment. Newport estimates that it would take three years to increase its capacity to a 14’000 wafer a week output, the report continues. Newport said it was talking to a number of venture capital and private equity firms about an investment, and that it would take two to three years to increase capacity to 14,000 wafers a week. Wafers are mass-produced boards that can each fit hundreds or thousands of individual chips. The chairman, who is also the outgoing chief executive of Welsh semiconductor manufacturer IQE, is urging the Government to support local manufacturing, which could support thousands of new jobs – just with the right backing. Nelson told the Telegraph that there are already ready made series of projects in the country, all that’s missing its the investments. “The Government hasn't really grasped the importance of investment in sovereign capabilities in its own semiconductor industry,” he said.