By Jeff Bounds
Senior Staff Writer | Dallas Business Journal
Texas Instruments' 1.08-million-square-foot manufacturing plant in Richardson is apparently performing better than expected.
"It's ramping up well, ahead of schedule, and looks like it's going to be everything we've ever hoped and maybe more," said Rich Templeton, CEO of the Dallas company. "It's actually ahead of any plan we would have had a year ago."
While TI officials declined to reveal how many chips the plant is producing, they did offer a couple of nuggets about what they characterized as its better-than-expected performance.
— Templeton said the company is "very pleased" both with the number of usable chips that the Richardson plant is producing from every 300-millimeter silicon wafer it works on and how long it takes the plant to get through each step of the semiconductor manufacturing process.
— Roughly 40 percent of the plant space is filled with semiconductor tools, which are running at fully capacity. That means there is room to grow, Templeton said.
When the plant is "full up," it should be able to help generate about $4 billion of revenue annually for TI, Templeton said. TI has not said when the Richardson plant will be fully staffed and filled with semiconductor tools and equipment.
It now employs more than 330 people and will eventually have a staff of up to 1,000.
TI broke ground on what's called "Richardson fabrication," or "RFAB," in 2004. But the building sat unused until 2009, when company officials decided the time had come to open it.
That turned out to be a smart move, and fortuitous as well. When the 2011 earthquake in Japan took a TI plant there offline, RFAB picked up the slack.
At the moment, RFAB has more than 750 semiconductor tools that were brought in from around the globe, according to a TI spokeswoman. That works out to more than 15 million pounds of tools and material, which were shipped with the help of more than 1,000 trucks.
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