30 September 2022
KLA to build new R&D and manufacturing facility for SPTS in Newport, Wales
Process control and inspection systems provider KLA Corp of Milpitas, CA, USA plans to build a new R&D and manufacturing center for its SPTS division in Newport, Wales, UK (which manufactures etch, PVD and CVD wafer processing solutions for the MEMS, advanced packaging, LED, high-speed RF, and power management device markets).
Designed to meet the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) standard of sustainability rating of excellence, the new development is expected to include a capital investment of more than $100m and create a 200,000ft2 facility. The new innovation center and manufacturing facility will include offices, cleanrooms, storage and support facilities and accommodate up to 750 employees.
“SPTS has experienced significant growth in its business over the past several years and is a highly successful division of KLA,” says Oreste Donzella, executive VP of KLA’s Electronics, Packaging and Components (EPC) Group. “We are investing in the new site to support SPTS’s growth and to establish additional facilities for the wider KLA European organization. Expanding in South Wales allows us to tap into the region's attractive talent pool and benefits from an appealing quality of life with access to many international sporting events, historic parks and outdoor activities. This area is also home to some of UK's leading universities and research institutes with strong semiconductor competencies and industry ties for collaborative research,” he adds.
“This investment and expansion in Wales will help us continue to develop wafer processing solutions for the high-growth secular industries and build on the existing expertise in advance packaging and compound semiconductor processing technologies to strengthen our portfolio of solutions for 5G communications, electric vehicles, consumer electronics, data centers, medical devices, and much more,” says president & CEO Rick Wallace.
“We have worked closely with KLA behind the scenes to identify the best possible site for their new manufacturing and R&D site and have invested in the energy infrastructure to ensure that the site can offer the company everything they need,” states Welsh Government Economy Minister Vaughan Gething. “This is a strong endorsement of the semiconductor cluster in South Wales and the Welsh Government’s sustained commitment to it over the past decade,” he adds. “We will continue to support and grow Wales’ semiconductor cluster and to ensure we are maximizing the regional and global opportunities of this cutting-edge technology.”
Adopting the globally recognized science-based sustainable and energy-efficient design standards, the new facility will be designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating, reflecting KLA’s commitment to its environmental goals. The new innovation center will provide over 25,000ft2 of cleanrooms for R&D and more than 35,000ft2 of bespoke manufacturing assembly halls.
Inside the design of the building façade are three floors of working environments, providing staff with modern workspaces, flexible breakout areas and staff restaurant. With staff wellbeing a priority, the new building includes a gymnasium and a footpath to support employee fitness and health. For those who take part in the company’s Cycle Scheme or cycle to work, there is secure cycle storage and shower facilities.
A groundbreaking event to mark the commencement of the new development is planned for 5 October. Completion of the building is expected in early 2025.