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September 30, 2009

TI to open RFAB manufacturing facility in Texas

300-millimeter silicon wafers to manufacture analog chips

By CBR Staff Writer

Chip maker Texas Instruments (TI) has announced the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Richardson, Texas, and said that it would immediately begin hiring 250 new employees for the facility. The company expects to begin moving equipment into the facility in October.

The company claims that the new facility known as RFAB will be the world’s only production facility to use 300-millimeter (12-inch) silicon wafers to manufacture analog chips, which are essential components in virtually all electronics.

TI said that the new facility will give it a strategic advantage in high-volume production since thousands of analog chips can be etched onto each of the wafers, more than double the number on the smaller 200-millimeter wafers.

Rich Templeton, chairman, president and CEO of TI, said: The time is right for this investment. Customer demand for analog chips is growing, and there’s tremendous desire to save energy and protect the environment. The chips produced here will help our customers make thousands of electronic products that are more energy-efficient. It is significant that these devices will be made here, in North Texas, in one of the industry’s most environmentally responsible fabs.

Mr Templeton said that the company plans to ship the first chips from this facility by the end of 2010. He said that, when the first phase of equipment is ramped and producing at full capacity, the facility will be capable of shipping more than $1 billion worth of analog chips per year.

The opening of RFAB is the most recent in a series of manufacturing expansions by TI. Earlier this year, TI has opened Clark, an assembly and test facility in the Philippines.

TI said that it has also been installing new test equipment at several other locations, and is in the process of installing newly acquired 200-mm manufacturing equipment for analog chip production at sites around the world, including Dallas.

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