Foundry plan seeks backers

A management buyout to set up the UK’s first semiconductor foundry may come out of cuts announced at National Semiconductor’s Greenock plant. The US-owned company announced this week that it will close its 4-inch wafer fabrication facility at Greenock in the next six months with the loss of 600 jobs. It is blaming the closure […]

A management buyout to set up the UK’s first semiconductor foundry may come out of cuts announced at National Semiconductor’s Greenock plant.

The US-owned company announced this week that it will close its 4-inch wafer fabrication facility at Greenock in the next six months with the loss of 600 jobs. It is blaming the closure on the collapse in the world semiconductor market.

But 440 remaining jobs at the site could be saved if investors are found to set up the foundry. This would be based on the plant’s other facilities, a 6-inch wafer fabrication facility and a design, development and production centre.

A foundry consists of a collection of design and manufacturing processes in one site.

The Greenock foundry would, at least initially provide analogue chips for use in radio communications to a range of manufacturers, including National Semiconductor.

National Semiconductor and Scottish Enterprise, the national economic development agency, are looking for investors to help set up these operations as an independent company.

Existing management, led by managing director Al Frederick, is expected to continue to be involved in that company, said a company spokeswoman.

Four investment houses in Scotland and the rest of Britain have shown interest in backing the venture, said the spokeswoman.