Monday, February 13, 2012

Japan's METI approves grants to TowerJazz for capex investment plan

NISHIWAKI, JAPAN: TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader, announced that TowerJazz Japan Ltd (TJP) has been selected to receive a cap-ex subsidy from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

This subsidy program aims to improve the logistics and facilities of the business locations of companies operating within Japan as well as encourage new investment to maintain and create employment by providing domestic site location subsidies to production sites. As part of this program, 294 projects were selected with a total subsidy budget of 202.3 billion yen (~2.5 billion dollars).

Grants approved in this program comprised up to 33.3% (one third) in cash by METI for cap-ex and related investments associated with power and other products. As previously disclosed, TowerJazz plans to invest tens of millions of dollars over the coming two years in its Nishiwaki factory to ramp and qualify its specialized power platform and other technologies to provide local sourcing in Japan and multi-fab sourcing for its customers worldwide.

The subsidy will enable TJP to accelerate its transition from an IDM DRAM fab to an analog specialty foundry and expand collaboration opportunities with customers in Japan. The funding will assist TJP in the ramp of specialized technologies and provide assistance with equipment and infrastructure for further business development.

Since the acquisition of the Micron Fab in Nishiwaki in June of 2011, TowerJazz has successfully engaged several IDMs in Japan and continues to explore and gain traction with new engagements. TowerJazz also introduced its world-class design enablement technology to the Japanese market.

"Having been selected as a recipient of the subsidy gives us great assurance that the Japanese government sees the inherent high value of our foundry offerings to support business development nationally," said Russell Ellwanger, CEO, TowerJazz. "TowerJazz is committed to the Japanese market by providing TJP with our advanced specialized capabilities and working closely with our local customers to respond to both their short and long term needs."

"Developing local pure play foundry capability is extremely important for the Japanese semiconductor industry. We are very pleased that the government understands the important role we have and chose to partner with us as the first large scale pure play foundry in Japan," said Kenichi Katsumoto, managing and representative director of TowerJazz Japan.

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