EAST FISHKILL, NY-IBM Corp., which in early October announced it would build a $2.5 billion semiconductor chip plant in East Fishkill, reports it will invest $300 million for a new organic chip manufacturing plant in Shanghai, China. Although the size of the facility is not known, the complex will house approximately 1,800 workers, according to Michael Loughran, a spokesman for IBM’s Microelectronics division in East Fishkill.

He adds that construction of the new facility is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2001 with production commencing by early 2002. The development is part of IBM’s $5 billion investment in the semiconductor chip sector. A key component of its investment program is the previously announced $2.5 billion project in East Fishkill. IBM’s Loughran says that the remainder of the semiconductor chip investment program involves “ramping up the chip and packaging technologies” at its other plants around the world. Those facilities are located in: Burlington, VT and Endicott, NY, and abroad in Japan, France, Ireland and Canada.

The Shanghai facility will produce electronic cards and high technology chip carriers incorporating IBM’s packaging technologies called surface laminar circuitry and HyperBGA. These technologies are used in wired and wireless networking applications, Web servers and pervasive computing market segments, IBM officials say.

“The establishment of the new packaging facility in Shanghai signifies a new phase in bringing advanced technology to China,” says Henry Chow, chairman and CEO of IBM Greater China Group.

IBM’s presence in China dates back to the 1930s when the company first installed a business machine for a hospital in Beijing. In the 1980′s, IBM opened representative offices in Beijing and Shanghai, followed by the establishment of the IBM China Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBM World Trade Corp., in 1992. The IBM China Research Laboratory was established in Beijing in 1995. IBM China now has offices in 11 cities and operates eight joint venture companies in China.

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