Semiconductor firm SSMC opens $300m clean room

Semiconductor firm Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company (SSMC) opened a $300 million clean room here yesterday.

The 4,400 sq m facility represents a 34 per cent increase in space for automotive and speciality 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.

The plant has fully automated robots and material handling systems, as well as Internet of Things technology and big data analytics for better efficiency.

The firm's wafers have a wide range of applications, from e-passports and e-payments, to radio-frequency identification tags in the transport and supply chain industries, and smartphones.

The new facility underpins SSMC's strategy of moving further into the segment of producing chip sets for car infotainment, in-vehicle networks, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, secure car access, and authentication sensors.

Despite the slowdown in the global semiconductor cycle, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said the industry remains an important one for Singapore.

"Our outlook for this sector is actually very bright, taking a long-term perspective," he told media at the opening ceremony.

SSMC, which was set up two decades ago as a joint venture by NXP Semiconductors and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, has invested around $3 billion here.

Economic Development Board deputy director for semiconductors Ling Yuan Chun yesterday said: "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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2018, with the headline 'Semiconductor firm SSMC opens $300m clean room'. Subscribe