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was that AMS is looking for dollar-denominated fab but Laney also said that a wafer fab in Asia could work for AMS. And it is true that X-Fab’s acquisition was of 1st Silicon in Kuching, Malaysia, and Tower’s numerous acquisitions have been outside Israel, in China and Japan. Extrapolate from this and you can see that such an expansion could turn into a transfer of significant weight outside Europe and movement of the effective geographic focus of the operation. It is notable that Austria – present in the name of the company from its origins as Austria Mikro Systeme – has been dropped. Austria Mikro Systeme was founded in August 1981 through a joint venture between American Microsystems Inc. and the then state-controlled Voest Alpine AG. I first visited the wafer fab at Unterpremstaetten in 1984, which means there has been at least 30 years of manufacturing history on that site although it’s true that the 200mm clean room dates back to 2002. Nonetheless an AMS with its largest fab in North America or Taiwan would be a very different company. It would be good if Laney could find a European wafer fab to help with expansion. It would be in-line with the argument offered up by TSMC that it likes to build wafer fabs in clusters in Taiwan for economies of scale in purchasing and so on. It would also help to expand European chip manufacturing rather than potentially contributing to its demise. Europe is definitely on the back foot with regard to chip manufacturing these days and globalization has not helped. And with Greater China responsible for about 50 percent of global electronic equipment production the pull to be located there is almost overwhelming. What would be ironic is if AMS bought a certain 200mm wafer fab on Pocatello, Idaho, from On Semiconductor. That was the headquarters of AMI Semiconductors prior to its acquisition by On Semi in 2008. And AMI Semiconductors was previously, you guessed it, American Microsystems Inc. “It would be good if Laney could find a European wafer fab to help with expansion” EXCEED YOUR LIMITS! HIGHEND QUALITY ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS www.taiyo-yuden.com Telecommunication, Information, Consumer, Industry and Automotive Electronics www.RZ_TY_electronics-Anzeige_EETimes_eetimes.Electronica14.com indd 1 Electronic Engineering Times Europe October 01.08.14 2014 14:17 17


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