Chipmaker SSMC boosts silicon production with facility in Singapore

Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company has invested S$300 million in new 4,400sqm cleanroom

Photo as seen on SSMC LinkedIn profile

Semiconductor manufacturer Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company (SSMC) has celebrated the opening of its Annex 10 cleanroom facility in Singapore. The building spans 4,400sqm.

The investment, worth S$300 million (US$220m), represents a 34% increase in space for the firm's automotive and speciality chip manufacturing.

Located in Singapore, next to SSMC existing site, Annex 10 cleanroom has been designed to boost automotive wafers production by 40%. The facility has the potential to increase the output up to 60% by 2023.

SSMC produces chips for a variety of applications such as e-passports and e-payments, radio-frequency identification tags in the transport and supply chain industries, and smartphones.

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, Jagadish CV, the company CEO, said SSMC aims to be a niche chipmaker. Jagadish said he is confident the demand for chipsets in cars will be a driver of growth.

Automobile manufacturers required chipsets to build up car infotainment, in-vehicle network, vehicle-to-infrastructure interfaces, authentication controls and sensors, to name but a few.

Hi-tech facility

Dubbed Annex 10 cleanroom, the facility is equipped with robotic automation and features Internet of Things devices to improve its manufacturing setup.

SSMC said these smart solutions will be also implemented at its affiliated facilities, including NXP Semiconductor’s manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas, US.

Established two decades ago, SSMC is a joint venture by NXP Semiconductors and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

Tapping into car industry

“New applications are creating bigger demand in the automotive market,” Jagadish told Channel NewsAsia. “By doing automotive chips, SSMC differentiates itself from the competition,” he added.

The qualification process for manufacturing chips for the automotive industry, Jagdish explained, is a lengthy process; it may take three to five years before a chip goes into production. However, Jagdish believes SMCC's investment will continue to reap benefits for the next 10 to 15 years.

Attending the opening ceremony, Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, commented that despite the current downturn, the outlook for this sector is very bright for the long-term.

“If you look at the plans that SSMC has made, I would say that they are making a long-term commitment as an expression of confidence of the sector not just in Singapore, but also worldwide,” Chan said.

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