Nexperia To Invest Further In Newport Wafer Fab
Paves the way for establishment of separate spin-out within the South Wales compound semiconductor cluster
CSconnected, the South Wales compound semiconductor cluster organisation, welcomes the news that semiconductor firm, Nexperia, will invest further in Newport Wafer Fab's power electronics fabrication facility. This investment comes whilst the global semiconductor industry is experiencing severe supply chain shortages.
The takeover by Nexperia will also pave the way for the establishment of a separate spin-out from Newport Wafer Fab of a new locally owned entity which plans to focus on the development and production of Compound Semiconductor chip technologies, which will guarantee that Wales and the UK remain at the forefront of semiconductor know-how and development in the future.
The deal guarantees that the Newport site will continue to have a strong position in the Welsh semiconductor community and will continue to develop and manufacture compound semiconductor chip technologies, building on its tremendous progress in developing a diverse portfolio of Compound Semiconductor (CS) foundry solutions since being divested from Infineon in 2017.
The new spin out entity in Newport will remain committed to a number of development projects and new foundry services in CS technologies, including next generation power, RF and consumer electronics solutions based on SiC and GaN wide bandgap semiconductors.
The Nexperia ownership transition creates an opportunity to spin off the compound semiconductor activities from high volume Silicon MOSFET and IGBT capabilities with a clear route for continuity in a new venture, as well as releasing resources to reinvest in developing these exciting new areas.
The compound semiconductor market is expected to be valued at $40-50B by 2025. Newport Wafer Fab has invested heavily in key technologies to address the highest growth, high-value segments of this market targeting applications in highly efficient power electronics, efficient ultra-high speed communications, and artificial intelligence technologies.
The new spin out entity will aim to offer continuity of Newport Wafer Fab's open access wafer foundry model with a short-term focus on new technology prototyping, complemented in the mid-term by a comprehensive investment in specialist CS, high volume, 200mm wafer fabrication capacity.
The expanded activities at the Newport facility will continue to contribute strongly to the South Wales Advanced Semiconductor Cluster with a shared vision of accelerating highly skilled employment growth by around 3,000 over the next five years, establishing South Wales as a premier global hub for research, development, innovation and manufacturing excellence in compound semiconductors.
Drew Nelson, outgoing chairman of Newport Wafer Fab said: “We are pleased that we have been able to secure a deal which not only guarantees the future of the existing Silicon Power chip production business, but which will also enable us to reinvest in in developing high end Compound Semiconductor based chips at the site through a new separately owned spin out entity.
"This will allow us to accelerate the development and production of new faster and more energy efficient compound semiconductor technologies - which represent the next generation of chip technology as a key part of the CSconnected community in South Wales.”