News, views and contacts from the global Semiconductor industry

Fairchild Assembly and Test Facility, Suzhou, China

Key Data

Fairchild Semiconductor complete the first phase of its 80,000m² assembly, test and warehouse facility in Suzhou, China, in September 2003. Phase one covers 40,000m² (a two-storey 12,000m² facility followed by a 28,000m² expansion). Phase two will occupy an additional 40,000m².

The facility concentrates on products that optimize system power in multiple end markets. Initially, it is manufacturing the company's latest power devices.


Fairchild's Power devices for DC/DC conversion include DC/DC converters, PWM controllers, optocouplers, and bridge rectifiers.

A recent N-Channel MOSFET, for example, passes 19A at 30V. Encapsulated in an FLMP (Flip Leaded Molded Package), the FDS7066SN3 works in synchronous DC/DC buck converter designs. It has an integrated Schottky diode, offering the high power and current handling of a separate MOSFET and Schottky rectifier in one package. This integration reduces space by as much as 50%. With low thermal resistance (junction-to-case of 0.5°C/W) and a very low RDSon (4.5mΩ typical at 10Vgs), the MOSFET works as a low-side switch for synchronous buck DC/DC converter applications.

Another recent device is a programmable frequency, current mode PWM controller that meets the International Energy Agency's (IEA) "1-Watt Initiative" aimed at reducing standby power losses to below 1W. Working up to 300kHz and 4mA, the FAN7601 minimizes switching losses. The device requires few external components, and works in off-line switch-mode power supplies (SMPS), DC/DC converters, adapters in notebook PCs, LCD monitors, DVDs, set top boxes and PC auxiliary power supplies.


The facility is the first to be completely constructed by Fairchild. Products made there go into applications including home appliances, monitors, audio/video, chargers/adapters, power supplies, telecom infrastructure, PDAs, color TVs, mobile phones, and PCs. Expanded alliances with key design houses are helping to develop systems reference designs.

The Suzhou facility produces Fairchild's power discrete, logic and analog products for both the local Chinese market and for export to the rest of Asia, Europe and the Americas. The factory is used to reduce the amount of outsourced assembly and test production required, and balance the company's dependence on outside contractors (it previously outsourced more than 50% of its assembly and test production). It also helps to control costs, enhance production ramps for new products, and strengthen supply and logistics channels.

Total employment is expected to reach 1,995 by 2005 (and 3,500 upon completion of Phase 2), a fifth of which will be technical staff. Total investment is estimated at $200 million, including the purchase of 100,000m² of land, as well as construction and tooling costs. More than 570 employees were trained to bring the plant into production quickly. Fairchild is also planning to add design laboratories and offices in key cities through China.


Fairchild's focus is on products that optimize system power, and interface solutions. Its components are used in computing, communications, consumer, industrial and automotive applications.

Its 10,000 employees design, manufacture and market power, analog & mixed signal, interface, logic, and optoelectronics products from its headquarters in South Portland, Maine, USA and locations around the world.


Fairchild decided in 1999 to make China a cornerstone of its global business. In 2002, the company set a goal to more than double sales in China by 2004, and is on track to meet this. Semiconductor consumption in China hit $13.1 billion in 2000, and looks set to increase at above 25% CAGR through to 2005, reaching nearly $30 billion.

Fairchild chose the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park (CSSIP) for the facility, in Jiangsu Province. This is one of China's most successful provinces, second only to Guangdong Province in terms of electronics production. Companies in the Industrial Park are given a corporate tax rate of 15% (rather than the 33% national average), as well as tax exemptions and rebates.