February 2, 2007
-- In the wake of the fab-lite strategies, possibly moving to fabless strategies, of NXP, Infineon, Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics, the pros and cons of having a fab were listed during IFS2007 in London this week organised by analysts Future Horizons.
The first argument is the cost argment. Some say that, at $3bn, fabs are too expensive. But if you look at their cost in relation to the market size, their cost is the same.
A fab cost $40m in 1970 when the industry TAM was $2.4bn; they cost $330m in 1985 when the TAM was $21.5bn; they cost $3bn in 2005 when the TAM was $245bn. That’s a 14.1 per cent CAGR over 25 years fro both the market and the fab-cost. So there’s no change in cost.
“It’s just that you have to bet the company when you build a fab, and people have lost the stomach for betting the company”, said Future Horizons CEO, Malcolm Penn
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