Fri, Nov 28, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Taiwan vital to Infineon's growth targets, firm says

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Infineon Technologies AG said yesterday its sales from Taiwan are expected to grow 30 percent annually over the next five years, thanks to growing demand from the communications sector and closer ties with local partners.

The anticipated growth in sales will come from rising demand in wireless, broadband and multimedia segments, Peter Bauer, Infineon's executive vice president for sales and marketing, said at the launch of the company's new Taipei head office in Nankang Software Park.

The demand for wireless, broadband and multimedia products is surging in the Asia-Pacific region, Bauer said.

"Taiwan is a key strategic market for Infineon in the Asia-Pacific region and it is one of the fastest-growing Asian operations. It is set to play a vital role in helping us to achieve our ambitious growth targets," he said.

Munich-based Infineon, the world's No.6 memory-chip maker, almost hit its sales target during its October 2002 to September 2003 fiscal year The company grew annually 20 percent to 25 percent on average over the past five years, Bauer said.

To sustain that brisk growth in Taiwan, "Infineon will double its DRAM capacity from its local partners to about 40 to 50 percent of its total production," he said.

Infineon has partnerships with Taiwanese companies such as Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) and Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子). It is working with Nanya on the development of 90-nanometer and 70-nanometer production technologies and has a production tie-up with Winbond Electronics Corp. (華邦電子) for DRAM capacity.

The German company has plans to increase its investment here within the next three years, said Loh Kin Wah (羅建華), president and managing director of Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific.

"The increase will be at least US$1 million a year," Loh said.

It will funnel most of its new investment to Inotera Memories, its joint venture with Nanya, Loh said. The joint-venture will cost Infineon 2.2 billion euros in three years for the construction of a 12-inch fab in Taoyuan.

While Infineon's partnership with Mosel Vitelic Inc (茂矽) began to sour late last year over control of ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德科技), its investment in Inotera Memories is the biggest such deal among foreign semiconductor companies' in Taiwan.

Infineon is forecasting even faster growth in China, where it is collaborating with the Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際集成電路) in building a 12-inch wafer fab in Beijing.

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