PLESSEY SEMICONDUCTORS has been spawned from the acquisition of the share capital of X-FAB UK Ltd. together with existing engineering competence within a design and technology center located in Swindon, UK. The name of the operating business has been subsequently changed to Plessey Semiconductors. The firm is now trading from its semiconductor manufacturing facility in Roborough, Plymouth, UK.

That facility currently produces 8-in. wafers for external customers in a foundry business model on 0.35-m complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) process technologies. Plessey Semiconductors is transferring its bipolar process technologies on both silicon and silicon-on-insulator (SoI) substrates to its Roborough facility. Both technologies will be used to support a set of existing foundry customers. However, Plessey Semiconductors will follow in its namesake's footsteps by developing and supporting a range of high-performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products as well.

"The historical significance of what we are doing is not lost on the management and employees of our new business," says Michael LeGoff, Managing Director of Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. "A large proportion of our employees started their careers in Plessey working in the various sites around the UK. We see this announcement as a return to our roots. This is a business model that addresses a market that we know very welldesigning and manufacturing a set of high-technology semiconductor products that competes with any semiconductor company in the world."

According to Paul James, the firm's Commercial Director, "Our positioning addresses the critical and immediate requirements we have identified in the market for our high-performance analog technology and products. We have been receiving very positive responses from the market about our plans to support both our existing foundry customers and to engage new customers with exciting new product releases. The first of these product families is on schedule for release later in 2010."

The UK's South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) will partially fund the project by providing nearly one million pounds Sterling under the Grant for Business Investment scheme when the deal is completed. Paul Wilson, Business Investment Adviser for the South West RDA, states, "We are delighted to support a solution that provides continuity of well-paid high-tech manufacturing jobs in the region."