NXP Opens New Advanced GaN Fab in ArizonaOctober 01, 2020 by Shannon Cuthrell
Dutch-American semiconductor giant NXP opened a new RF GaN wafer fab in Arizona this week.
NXP Semiconductors executives and government officials gathered on Tuesday for a grand opening of the company’s new 150mm Gallium Nitride (GaN) radio-frequency (RF) wafer fab in Chandler, Arizona. The facility marks a $100 million expansion of NXP’s presence in Chandler, a city known for its sizable semiconductor manufacturing footprint, home to operations from major industry players such as Intel Corporation and Microchip Technology Inc.
NXP Semiconductors’ new GaN fab in Chandler, Arizona. Image courtesy of NXP Semiconductors N.V.
The facility, which NXP refers to as the most advanced GaN RF fab of its kind in the U.S., will allow the company to expand production of its 5G RF power amplifiers and GaN-based cellular infrastructure lines.
The new facility will also enable more collaboration between the manufacturing team and the company’s existing Chandler-based R&D operation, which came with the company’s $40 billion acquisition of Freescale Semiconductor in 2015. According to the City of Chandler, around 1,700 full-time employees work at the site, making NXP among the top manufacturing employers in the city along with Intel, Northrop Gunman and Microchip Technology.
In the announcement, NXP stated that the new facility allows its engineers to “more rapidly develop, validate and protect inventions for current and future generations of GaN devices, resulting in shorter cycle times for NXP GaN innovations.”
Ribbon cutting for NXP’s new wafer fab in Arizona. Image courtesy of NXP Semiconductors N.V.
The opening comes as NXP expands its advanced cellular infrastructure segment with high-demand 5G base stations. Communication infrastructure is one of NXP’s key end markets, alongside automotive, mobile, industrial and IoT. According to a recent investor presentation, communications infrastructure and other products claimed 21% of the company’s overall end-market revenue exposure in 2019.
During a keynote address at the live-streamed grand opening ceremony on Tuesday, NXP Semiconductors’ newly appointed CEO, Kurt Sievers, called the new operation a “critical milestone” for the company. “By building this incredible facility and tapping key talent in Arizona, we are able to bring focus to GaN technology as part of driving the next generation of 5G base station infrastructure,” Sievers added.
Federal, state and local government officials made appearances at the event, including Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, City of Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke, Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally, U.S. Representative Greg Stanton, Department of Commerce Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Joseph Semsar, and Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States Andre Haspels. The stream has been posted on NXP’s website here.
NXP Semiconductors currently has 15 engineering job openings at the new facility. Operations are expected to reach full capacity by the end of the year.