Semi savings

STMicroelectronics is to wind down operations at three of its manufacturing plants.


STMicroelectronics is to wind down operations at its 6in wafer fab in Carrollton, Texas, its 8in fab in Phoenix, Arizona and its back-end packaging and test facility in Ain Sebaa, Morocco.


The measures are part of the company’s program to migrate most of its global 6in wafer production to less-expensive 6in fabs in Singapore or to finer-geometry 8in facilities around the world.


Most of ST’s 6in fabs in Europe have already been phased out or converted to 8in manufacturing in a move that has saved the company more than $150m per year.


ST’s Phoenix wafer production plant is a relatively small 8in facility using mature technology. In light of its size and technology, the fab would require substantial capital expenditure to be upgraded to the state-of-the-art technology necessary for it to continue operating.


In order to reduce costs, ST decided not to expend the resources to upgrade it, and to shift its capacity – directly or indirectly – to other plants or subcontractors, in Asia and in Europe.


At the same time, ST said that it will enhance its Bouskoura 2000 testing and packaging facility in Morocco by transferring most of the operations of its older Ain Sebaa plant in Casablanca to it. That facility, the company said, is unsuitable for upgrading and will be progressively phased down and closed. Some mature product lines will be transferred to subcontractors.


ST estimates the moves will involve approximately 4000 employees worldwide. The company expects to offer transfers or ‘transition-based incentives’ to most of those involved, and anticipates that most will remain in their jobs throughout the transition period.


Once they are completed, the company expects the measures to generate approximately $150m per year in savings.