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Motorola Flip-Chip and QFP Packaging, Malaysia

Key Data

Motorola has completed the first phase of a $66 million, 18-month technology transfer and capacity expansion at its Motorola Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MMSB) plant. Phase one was completed in August 2002 with the inauguration of a new flip-chip production line, with production being moved from plants in the US, Hong Kong and Japan. Phase two involves moving high volume Quad Flat Pack (QFP) production to the Petaling Jaya chip packaging and testing plant (near Kuala Lumpur) . This is now in progress.

Motorola Petaling Jaya has a built-up area of over 70,000m on an eight hectare site,. The expansion adds more than 9,000 m² of manufacturing area, and involves more than 900 pieces of high-tech equipment.

The project makes Petaling Jaya the company's largest chip packaging and testing facility, and its largest semiconductor facility outside the US. The new lines are an important part of an "asset-light" operating model. By 2003, Motorola will have invested $1.14 billion in the facility over a 30-year period. This project should increase revenues at the plant by 25%.


The transfer to Malaysia (and also China) is part of a restructuring exercise to cut operating costs. Motorola will concentrate its manufacturing operations in the US, Malaysia and China.

Motorola has been attracted to Malaysia by the good government support, infrastructure, wide choice of suppliers and trained available labour. The company has one semiconductor manufacturing site in Kuala Lumpur and another for communications products in Penang, Malaysia. Motorola Kuala Lumpur produces and tests a wide range of semiconductor products with a total strength of 4,000.

Established in 1972, MMSB assembles and tests microprocessors, microcontrollers, digital signal processors, mixed signal and RF ICs for networking/computing systems, transportation and wireless/broadband systems markets. MMSB has also formalized an expanded year 2002/2003 Manufacturing Services Agreement with KESM Industries Berhad. The RM50 million agreement names KESM as the provider of burn-in and test services for "Micro C" micro-controller and "Micro P" microprocessor packages. Applications include automobiles, telecoms and computers.


Motorola has a range of processors and memories in flip-chip PBGAs (Plastic Ball Grid Arrays), including DSP, fast SRAM, PowerPC microprocessors and bridge ICs in a range of pin counts and body sizes. Flip-chips have advantages over wire-bonding, particularly smaller footprint and higher die-to-substrate interconnect density. Electronic performance is better too, with increased switching speeds and more efficient power distribution. These devices therefore often incorporate fast copper interconnects.


QFP devices being packaged and tested at the facility will include those with Motorola's industry standard 68HC08 microcontroller core. A major application is automotive, with recent derivatives for example simplifying development of Local Interconnect Network (LIN) systems for automobiles. The Motorola 68H908 family of Flash-based MCUs enables simplified development of LIN master systems for automobiles, and incorporates the CAN protocol (Version 2.0A/B) on chip. Automotive components need resistance to high temperatures, shocks, vibration and humidity - demanding even more attention to package and test.

Motorola automotive circuits are being embedding in the powertrain (engine and transmission) and in safety devices such as airbags and anti-lock brakes. Processors will be embedded in the next generation of steering and braking systems, as mechanical systems are converted to electronics. The company also makes circuits for driver information such as digital radio, global positioning systems, web access and e-mail.


Motorola Inc.'s total sales in 2002 were $27.3 billion. It focuses on integrated communications and embedded electronic solutions including:

  • Software-enhanced wireless telephone and messaging, two-way radio products and systems and networking and Internet-access products
  • End-to-end broadband systems for delivering interactive digital video, voice and high-speed data
  • Embedded semiconductor solutions for customers in wireless communications, networking and transportation
  • Integrated electronic systems for automotive, telematics, industrial, telecommunications, computing and portable energy systems

The company's semiconductor sales in 2002 were $5 billion. The Semiconductor Products Sector has a strong focus on domestic, workplace and automotive, wireless communications and networking.