Friday, January 03, 2014

LFoundry Rousset Fab Closed

EETimes Europe reports that LFoundry Rousset, France fab has been declared bankrupt and closed. Its 600 employees have been laid off. The fab used to offer 0.15um and 0.11um CIS processes:


Lfoundry bought the Rousset plant from Atmel in 2010 for €1, and Atmel was the main customer for Rousset until mid-2013. Now, the only active LFoundry's fab is the one in Avezzano, Italy, bought from Micron in June 2013. The Avezzano fab offers CIS process to customers. It also enjoys a 4 years wafer supply agreement with Aptina. It's a 50:50 joint venture between LFoundry Europe and Marsica Innovation SpA, a company owned by the Italian fab's management.

12 comments:

  1. very surprising events unfolding at beginning of the year.

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  2. Europe is too old to keep this young generation toy. This is simply a first one, the other ones are following. Let's see.

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  3. "bought from Micron" for 1Euro? Like Atmel Rousset in 2010? LFoundry is the grave digger of the European Semiconductor business. And Atmel and Micron are happy to get rid of their Fabs in Europe for nearly nothing. Let's see how it's going on in Avezzano. Maybe in 3 years or earlier we read that the Avezzano Fab had to be closed because Micron/Aptina didn't order chips there any longer (as happened in Landshut(Renesas) and Rousset(Atmel)). And the LF110 or whatever is still not released. Which FAB in Europe will be "sold" to LFoundry next?

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  4. It never was difficult to foresee this closing. Forget LFoundry, it never was a serious semiconductor company.

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  5. LFoundry used to be a just production fab. When they became a company thay had to learn about many more things, like R&D, Marketing and Sales. All of this in the middle of the worst crises ever. Then the Rousset fab was good but not as the German one, so I guess it was difficult to re-start with that. I Ised to work with them as customer in the past (German fab) and I must say that they are very good from technical point of view. About the other points, they are learning fast, but semiconductor field is fast as well! Now, the Avezzano fab is something amazing. Very good equipments (ok just 8" but for more than moore technologies is enough), very good people, huge know how. Most of mobile phone used to have a camera made there. So technology is not a problem, they have 3-4 years to find a business model that works and right customers. The game is not over. I wish them good luck.

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    1. You write : "Most of the mobile phone used to have a camera made there". Do you believe this yourself ?

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    2. Ok, you are right, as usual. I used the wrong word. Better to say "many" than "most".

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  6. > I Ised to work with them as customer in the past (German fab) and I must say that they are very good from technical point of view.

    I definitely agree.

    I'm a current customer of LFoundry (currently migrating an LF150 design to Avezzano). It's true, the technology is pretty old at this point, but their people are absolutely amazing. You will never, ever, ever find a process engineer as smart as theirs at a place like TSMC -- at least none that they'll put a customer in contact with (I worked for a TSMC customer with a $7billion market cap). And their PDK (process design kit) is magnificently crafted… the documentation is clear, correct, and exceptionally readable. You can tell it was written by somebody who understood the process rather than some intern's secretary.

    So yes, they're hugely undercapitalized and struggling with an outdated technology, but they have quite a brain trust.

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  7. Many thanks for the tribute to the R&D-engineers at LFoundry. As we had no real big customer, we took of course many care, even for the small ones in the beginning.
    But like me, most of the "brains" have now left this company, as we did not see the same bright future, the LF management likes to paint for everyone else. And it scared me most, how fast and cool they moved to the next fab, after release several 100 people to the unemployment. As employes of LF, we could not select our management, which takes no care for us. But as a customer you should now maybe select some more honorable partner for a long term buisness.
    So the plan for Avezzano is clear in my point of view and we can see already the same management actions, which worked also in LA and Rousset...

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  8. You say that you were one of the brains that left, this is arrogant compared to your old collegues, there still work excellent people,
    Lfoundry has the only business model to keep the mature fabs alive, they develop new technology with us. With Italy they got a competitive fab and many new good brains. You should encourage the customers to stay in Europe and support us, only so we in Italy and semiconductors in Europe can survive.

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    1. no comment. "Lfoundry has the only business model to keep the mature fabs alive". Wondering why Landshut and Rousset had to be closed finally."With Italy they got a competitive fab". I think i read this comment here already (for Rousset):http://www.invest-in-france.org/de/erfolgsgeschichten/lfoundry-michael--lehnert.html -> "Hinzu kommt, dass die Produktionsstätte in Rousset auf höchstem technischen Niveau ist und die Produktion kompatibel zu Landshut. Rousset zählt zu den modernsten Produktionstätten in der Halbleiterei in Europa.". And finally " and many new good brains" http://www.invest-in-france.org/de/erfolgsgeschichten/lfoundry-michael--lehnert.html -> "Auf jeden Fall ist das Personal sehr gut ausgebildet, die Arbeit wird hochmotiviert ausgeführt". So i'm more and more astonished why that business model is not working than. Can you give me and the other readers an answer?

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  9. To the new italian LF-member. There is a big difference between most and all. But if 7 out of ~15 technology people left the company within the last 2 years, there is sure some loss of knowlege and a deeper reason behind. I was surly not the brightest head in this company, because it took me more than 3 years, to find out our real business model. Hope YOU will find it out more early, based on the available informations and the history of the last years. But of course you can try also, to save your workplace with every effort, as we did for more than 3 years. Good luck, you will need it ...

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