Photronics, the US-owned photomask manufacturer last week opened a new European facility at Trafford Park, Manchester to supply European-based wafer fabrication plants. Up to 40% of Europe’s semiconductor industry is now located in the UK.
The 42,000sq m photomask facility is the result of a £20m investment including a Department of Trade and Industry regional selective assistance grant of £1.8m. The company expects to invest another £25m in the plant with the addition of new technology and capability.
The Manchester operation will support the production of integrated circuits utilising 0.35 micron and below process technologies.
The UK site will be supported by operations in Neuchatal, Switzerland and Dresden, Germany.
Photronics acquired GEC Plessey Semiconductors’ internal photomask manufacturing operation in Oldham, in January 1996. The site was its first wholly-owned plant outside North America.
The agreement called on the company to build a new facility capable of supplying outside customers.
Photronics is to acquire the internal photomask manufacturing operations of Motorola in Mesa, Arizona.