SSMC Yields First Silicon at Singapore Fab

Singapore, September 26, 2000 -- Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company (SSMC), the joint venture between Philips Semiconductors, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and EDBI today announced that its wafer production facility in Singapore has achieved its first yielding silicon, 90 days after installing the first process equipment and only 15 months after building of the fab commenced.

The current 550-strong workforce is set to reach 1050 in June 2002, when the monthly output reaches the maximum installed capacity of 30,000 wafers. Two-thirds of these employees underwent extensive tertiary technical education prior to joining SSMC. A core team of industry veterans from Philips Semiconductors and TSMC is in place, supported by more than 150 engineers who received training at the Philips Semiconductors’ facilities in the Netherlands and TSMC’s facilities in Taiwan. Training allowed them to optimize the installation, testing and qualification of the equipment and was a major factor in achieving first silicon within such a short space of time.

“The speed with which we have achieved first silicon will allow both Philips Semiconductors and TSMC to take full advantage of the strong global demand for semiconductors,” commented Peter Yates, SSMC’s CEO. “The timing of the decision to build this new fab has certainly paid off and both companies will be well placed to meet customer demand for systems-on-silicon solutions.”

Stuart McIntosh, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Philips Semiconductors said: "We came to Singapore because of the people here and this early success is very encouraging for the exciting challenges ahead. For a full-scale fab to achieve the production of first silicon within such a short space of time is evidence of the excellent co-operation between the two companies, the high level of engineer training and the smooth transfer of process technologies.”

Rick Tsai, Executive Vice President of TSMC, said: “SSMC is a strategically important manufacturing facility to both TSMC and Philips for the next several years. With customers demanding more capacity than the foundry industry can currently provide, this facility is in an excellent position to play a major role in the IC industry going forward.”

In the last 90 days some 200+ tools have been delivered, installed and commissioned and are running silicon. The initial process technologies are 0.25 micron and 0.18 micron.

About SSMC

SSMC (Systems-on-Silicon Manufacturing Company) is a joint venture between Philips Semiconductors, an affiliate of Royal Philips Electronics, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Economic Development Board Investments (EDBI) of Singapore. The partners’ $1.2 billion US dollar investment led to the creation of a state-of-the-art wafer fabrication facility in located in Singapore’s Pasir Ris Wafer Fab Park to produce chips with feature sizes of 0.25 micron, 0.18 micron and beyond. Construction of SSMC’s fab began in June 1999, setting a new benchmark in fab construction within the semiconductor industry. Production started in 2000 and full production capacity is on target for 2003. Philips Semiconductors is the major shareholder with 48% of the shares, TSMC has 32%, EDBI has 20%.