Apple buys wafer fab in San Jose

December 15, 2015 //By Peter Clarke
Apple buys wafer fab in San Jose
Apple Inc. has bought a wafer fab in North First Street, San Jose, Calif. from analog and mixed-signal chip vendor Maxim Integrated Products Inc., according to a Silicon Valley Business Journal report.

Apple paid $18.2 million for the 70,000 square foot building at 3725 N. First St. the report said, referencing public records.

In May 2015 ATREG Inc. (Seattle, Washington) announced it had been retained by Maxim to help with the sale of its 200mm R&D fab there. ATREG described the fab as being suitable for prototype, pilot, and low-volume manufacturing and as a platform to strengthen U.S. based customers with strategic partners. 

The unit was described as operational and included 197 pieces of chip manufacturing equipment from such makers as Applied Materials, Hitachi, Novellus, Tokyo Electron, KLA and ASML suitable for production at nodes from 0.6-micron down to 90nm, with the bulk at 0.35-micron to 180nm. 

Apple's fab is immediately next door to an office building belonging to Samsung Semiconductor.

Apple is unlikely to use the fab for production of its main chips, for which it uses foundries TSMC and Samsung, but could use the facility for R&D in other components such as mixed-signal devices, MEMS and image sensors and for work on packaging.

Related links and articles:

San Jose Business Journal article

News articles:

Tower buys Maxim's Texas wafer fab

Report: Analog Devices, Maxim in merger talks

Maxim exits consumer MEMS, touch sensors

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