On Semiconductor is exploring a sale of its 6-inch fab in Oudenaarde, Belgium. The company from Phoenix, Arizona, has announced it will begin searching for strategic partners to facilitate an orderly transition of products to its other manufacturing facilities. Meanwhile, the fate of the 700 employees remains uncertain. The 44,000 m2 factory in Oudenaarde is automotive qualified and currently supports low, medium and high-voltage analog CMOS and BCD technologies.
On Semi landed in East Flanders in 2008, when it acquired its ailing competitor and compatriot AMI Semiconductor for 915 million dollars. The Oudenaarde fab was part of the assets. At the time, it produced about 100,000 150 and 200-mm wafers a year in a 0.35-micron process and it employed 900 people, including 500 in manufacturing.
Despite fears of an imminent closure, the factory survived and even got a 12 million euro investment from On Semi in 2010 (links in Dutch). It remained the poor relation in the family, however, to such an extent that its American parent has now decided to put it up for sale.