NEC plans advanced chip plant in Japan

NEC Electronics is planning to build a state-of-the-art semiconductor production line at one of its existing facilities in Japan, the company said Thursday in a statement.

The company said it will invest ¥60 billion (US$545 million) on the line, which will process 300-millimeter semiconductor wafers. The line will be able to produce chips at a resolution of 90 nanometers, according to the statement. The measurement relates to the size of the smallest circuit that can be etched on the chip's surface and 90 nanometers is currently at the cutting edge of commercial production technology.

Construction of the clean room that will house the line is scheduled to start before the end of this year and volume production is expected to begin by the end of 2004, the company said.

Capacity when full production begins will be 4,000 wafers per month.

The line will be constructed at NEC's existing semiconductor factory in Yamagata prefecture in northern Japan.

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