Analogue IC production ramps up

Known as RFAB, Texas Instruments’ new manufacturing base in Richardson, Texas, is claimed to be the worlds only production facility to use 300mm silicon wafers to produce the analogue chips, which are essential in virtually all electronics. Known as RFAB,(R for Richardson,FAB for fabrication), the fab will be the worlds only production facility to use 300-millimeter (12-inch) silicon wafers to manufacture analog chips, which are essential components in virtually all electronics. The facility will give TI a strategic advantage in high-volume production because thousands of analog chips can be etched onto each of these wafers, more than double the number on the more commonly used and smaller 200-millimeter wafers.

The time is right for this investment, said Rich Templeton, TIs chairman, president and CEO. Customer demand for analog chips is growing, and theres 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 industrys most environmentally responsible fabs.

The facility will produce analog integrated circuits based on TIs proprietary process. Customers will use these chips in electronics ranging from smartphones and netbooks, to telecom and computing systems.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony with local and state officials, Templeton said TI plans to ship the first chips from this facility by the end of 2010. 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.

Hiring will begin immediately for 250 jobs in RFAB. These are high-quality, well-paying engineering, manufacturing and administrative jobs for our North Texas region. The infrastructure that a facility like this requires will create other indirect jobs with suppliers and support services, said Templeton. We want to thank our great partners in Richardson, Dallas, Plano and Austin who helped us make this happen, Templeton said, referring to the City of Richardson, Collin County, the Plano Independent School District and the Collin County Community College District.

Texas Instruments decision to again invest in Texas is yet another example of how, even during these economic times, the Lone Star State remains the top choice for companies looking to expand, Gov. Rick Perry said. Our combination of a predictable regulatory climate, low taxation and a world-class workforce that is well prepared to fill the hundreds of new high-technology jobs TI will be bringing to the area.

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

Local education benefits
Local education has benefitted from TIs decision to build the fab in Richardson. As part of the original agreement between community and state partners, the nearby University of Texas at Dallas will receive a total of $300 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund, the Texas General Land Office, the UT System, and private donors for improvement of its engineering and research programs.

Texas Instruments has been a remarkable partner with education at all levels, said Dr. David E. Daniel, president of UT Dallas. The impact of the RFABs creation on UT Dallas has been dramatic in terms of recognition and research activity. This projects high profile played a direct role in our most recent efforts to reach for what many call Tier One statusour aspiration to become a nationally recognized research university. We look forward to partnering with Texas Instruments and the rest of our community as we grow toward this stature in service to the Dallas area and the region.

Green model
RFAB has been an important model of green construction. It was the first semiconductor facility to achieve Gold certification with the U.S. Green Building Councils Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. TI has applied knowledge from the RFAB designs to other facilities all over the world.