Okmetic to double silicon wafer capacity with €400m facility in Finland

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Credit: Okmetic

Silicon wafer manufacturer Okmetic is investing €400 million in a new production facility next to its current silicon wafer fab in Vantaa, Finland.

The investment will allow Okmetic to better respond to increasing silicon wafer demand during a component shortage across the semiconductor supply chain.

It will also play a part of the European push towards more self-sufficiency in the global semiconductor value chain, the company has said. 

Okmetic supplies customised silicon wafers for the manufacture of MEMS, sensor, RF and power devices. The investment is to more than double the company’s production capacity and business and create over 500 new jobs. 

The company has a 150 to 200mm silicon wafer portfolio comprising of lines of SOI  (silicon-on-insulator) wafers and high resistivity wafers as well as patterned wafers, single side polished and double side polished wafers, TSV wafers and wafers for power devices.

The new production fab of over 40,000m2 (clean room area   ̴ 6,000 m2) will be built next to the current fab, with production in the new fab mainly focusing on current products and markets.

SOI production will be centralised in the current fab, with 200mm double side polished wafer and single side polished wafer production and crystal growing expanded to the new fab.

The overall production capacity of the fabs will more than double the current capacity. Construction will commence in early 2023, at the latest, and the fab is planned to be in production use during 2025.

Okmetic currently employs approximately 600 people, and the investment will enable the hiring of more than 500 new employees. Recruitment will commence right away and gradually continue until the launch of the new production fab. New vacancies will include both white-collar and production work positions.

Okmetic president and CEO Kai Seikku said: 'We have experienced strong growth for several years now, and market forecasts suggest the positive development will continue in the semiconductor industry. The new fab will strengthen the company’s position in the market and lay the foundation for the future development of our business.

'In a bigger picture, the investment can also be seen as part of the European push towards more self-sufficiency in the global semiconductor value chain. However, overall focus will be on global markets.'

Market growing at a rapid pace

In 2022, the semiconductor market is expected to continue to grow and surpass 600 billion dollars for the first time. The growth has been driven by key technologies such as 5G, AI, IoT and autonomous vehicles. With the high growth rate, component shortage has posed a challenge for the entire industry. Following this investment, Okmetic can better respond to increasing customer demand.

Okmetic supplies silicon wafers for the manufacture of MEMS, sensor, RF and power devices, markets where growth is expected to continue and where the 200mm diameter silicon wafers are predicted to retain their position as the primary platform. 

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14 June 2022