Silicon wafer manufacturer Okmetic will build a new production facility next to its current silicon wafer fab in Vantaa, Finland. The investment is to more than double the company’s production capacity and business and create over 500 new jobs. Construction will commence in early 2023, at the latest, and the fab is planned to be in production use during 2025. With silicon wafer demand surging due to the proliferation of electronic components, the investment helps the company meet the growing demand of customers.
Okmetic supplies advanced, customized silicon wafers for the manufacture of MEMS, sensor, RF and power devices. This investment to a new production facility totaling nearly 400 million euros will more than double the company’s business. It is the largest investment in Okmetic’s history. Over the last five years, the company has invested over 100 million euros in increasing the production capacity of its Vantaa fab, and the new production fab is yet another chapter in the company’s growth story as a provider of high value-added silicon wafers in a rapidly growing and developing industry.
– 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, says Okmetic President and CEO Kai Seikku.
– The investment is one of NSIG’s commitments to expedite Okmetic’s further growth with greater business scale and stronger market position, leveraging on Okmetic’s strength on specialty technologies, says Dr. Chiu Tzu-Yin, NSIG President and Okmetic chairman. It will also enable NSIG – the parent company of Okmetic – to play a more prominent role in the global semiconductor silicon wafers supply chain.
The new fab will be in production use in 2025, the number of new jobs over 500
The new production fab of over 40,000 m2 (clean room area ̴ 6,000 m2) will be built next to the current fab, maximizing synergy between them. Production in the new fab will mainly focus on current products and markets. SOI production (Silicon-On-Insulator) will be centralized in the current fab, with 200mm DSP (Double Side Polished) wafer and SSP (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. Planning for the production fab has already begun, and the construction is set to begin in early 2023, at the latest. Following equipment installation, the new fab is expected to be in full operation in 2025. The new fab will feature state-of-the-art equipment and production lines and attention will also be paid to improved energy efficiency and complying with tightening ESG standards.
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.
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. The company has extensive 150 to 200mm silicon wafer portfolio comprising of comprehensive lines of SOI wafers and High Resistivity RFSi® wafers as well as Patterned wafers, Single Side Polished and Double Side Polished wafers, TSV wafers and Wafers for Power devices.
Okmetic is actively involved in different kinds of collaborative semiconductor research and EU projects aiming to develop groundbreaking microelectromechanical systems. The company also is an integral part of the wide-scale MEMS cluster in Finland.