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Semiconductor firm SSMC opens new S$300m facility

SEMICONDUCTOR firm Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company (SSMC) has expanded its footprint in Singapore with the opening of its new S$300 million Annex 10 clean room on Tuesday. 

The new 4,400 sq m facility represents a 34 per cent increase in space for automotive and specialty chip manufacturing. It will help SSMC raise its automotive wafers production from 26 per cent of the firm's capacity to 40 per cent, and potentially up to 60 per cent by 2023.

Despite the current slowdown in the global semiconductor cycle, the semiconductor industry remains an important one for Singapore, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, who was guest of honour at the opening.

"Our outlook for this sector is actually very bright, taking a long-term perspective," he told reporters at the opening ceremony, noting that the chips manufactured by the industry are indispensable in today's digital era.

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In line with Singapore's push for smart manufacturing and the use of Industry 4.0 technologies, the Annex 10 facility features fully automated robots and material handling systems, as well as Internet of Things technology and big data analytics for better monitoring and efficiency. 

SSMC's wafers have a wide range of applications, from e-passports and e-payment to radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags in the transport and supply chain industry, as well as smartphones. The new facility supports SSMC's current strategic direction of moving further into the automotive and High Performance Mixed Signal (HPMS) segments, producing chip sets for car infotainment, in-vehicle networks, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, secure car access, as well as authentication control and sensors. 

Since its establishment two decades ago as a joint venture by NXP Semiconductors and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, SSMC has seen an accumulative capital expenditure of over S$3 billion, with the largest 200 mm wafer fabrication plant in South-east Asia.

“SSMC has been an important player in Singapore’s semiconductor ecosystem since its inception. This expansion reflects the company’s long-term commitment to undertake high value manufacturing for growth applications such as automotive and security in Singapore,” said Singapore Economic Development Board deputy director for semiconductors Ling Yuan Chun.