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NXP's bangkok plant makes ICs for the world

Marking its 35th year in Bangkok, Netherlands-based NXP's chip assembly plant is considered the biggest of its kind in the world with high quality standards.

The plant assembles and tests a vast array of high quality semiconductors for electronic devices such as mobile phones, TVs, smart cards, cars and other hi-tech products.

NXP's semiconductors can be found in leading brands such as Nokia, Philips, Dell, Bosch, Apple, Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Delphi, Clarion and Alpine Gemalto. Its chips can be also founded in BMW's 7 series and Porsche vehicles.

Covering 63,000 square metres of land and 55,220 sqm of floor space, NXP's factory churns out some 10 million pieces a day for use here and all over the world.

Millions of wafers, which are shipped from NXP's wafer fabs in such places in Europe as the Netherlands and Germany to its world-class Bangkok facility, enter into the assembly and tester operation before the ICs are packed and shipped abroad.

The process starts with the die room and passes the wafer test, back grind, saw, die attach, gold wire bonding, mould, laser mark, solder plate, trim form, and final test. Most of the process is run by machine but controlled by a few skilled workers.

Theo Halders, vice president and managing director of NXP Manufacturing (Thailand), told the press tour visiting the assembly site in Bangkok last week that the utilisation rate of IC production is now 80-90 per cent.

"If production is at full capacity, there will be space left on the fourth floor of the E building preparing for expansion," he said.

However, probably it would not be expanded this year, he said.

NXP's semiconductors enjoy a strong position in the key markets it targets such as home, automobile and identification and multi-market semiconductors.

Recently, it was awarded for the second time the tender to provide the Thai government with the chips used in the e-ID project.

It shares 80 per cent of the world's e-passport market, with more than 100 million pieces sold. Its products contain 20-years extended data retention.

NXP's Bangkok site employs about 3,000, of which 70 per cent are women and 30 per cent men. They have an average age of 33 years and nearly 11 years of service. Out of the workforce, about 350 are engineers.

The company intends to train more employees with higher skills.

Late last year, NXP's assembly plant in Bangkok received the superior partner award from Samsung Electro-Mechanics Thailand. The award recognised NXP's "excellent quality performance, industrial capabilities and delivery lead-time reduction".

In 2004, the facility attained ISO 14001 certification for the manufacturing, testing and package design for integrated circuits, and has had ISO 9001 since 2000.

NXP employs about 30,000 people in more than 30 countries, of which nearly 40 per cent are in Asia, followed by 35 per cent in Europe, 22 per cent in China and 5 per cent in the US. About 6,000 are engineers.

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