US-based MKS Instruments to build factory in Malaysia to support wafer fab equipment production

  • Facility will support customers in the region and globally
  • Serves customers across broad array of semicon manufacturing applications

Some of the semiconductor solutions from MKS Instruments.

MKS Instruments, Inc, a Massachusetts, US-based NASDAQ listed provider of technologies announced that it is set to build a factory in Penang, Malaysia to support wafer fabrication equipment production in the region and globally. Its first plant in Asia, the plan is to construct the new facility in three phases, with groundbreaking expected to commence in early 2025 said the company which had revenue of US$3.62 billion (RM17.1 billion) in 2023. No further details were shared about the investment commitment with MKS describing its upcoming facility as a "super center" which a spokesperson describes as, "a factory that is a larger facility that will manufacture multiple products and be a center for manufacturing."

[Ed: Para updated for clarity.]

US-based MKS Instruments to build factory in Malaysia to support wafer fab equipment production“MKS has a proud history of innovations and inventions that have shaped the evolution of the key industries we serve,” said Dr John T.C. Lee (pic), President and CEO of MKS. “With proximity to our customers and suppliers and robust technology infrastructure, Penang is home to a strong semiconductor ecosystem. Expanding our business in Malaysia is an important milestone for our company as we seek to continue to enhance our capabilities as a leader across a broad array of semiconductor manufacturing applications.”

The company, which has three divisions -  Vacuum Solutions, Photonics Solutions and Materials Solutions – applies its science and engineering capabilities to create instruments, subsystems, systems, process control solutions and specialty chemicals technology that improve process performance and optimise productivity for customers. It counts around 2,500 scientists and engineers among its 10,000 plus staff and has around 3,800 patents. 

Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang, said, "Aligning with Penang’s ambition to move up the global semiconductor value chain, MKS Instruments unlocks opportunities in semiconductor manufacturing, which creates more high-value job opportunities for the local workforce. I am delighted that MKS Instruments chose to locate its new facility here and I hope the company will be able to reap many benefits from its operation in Penang, the Silicon Valley of the East."

Sikh Shamsul Ibrahim, CEO of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said, “MKS Instruments' decision to build a new facility in Malaysia underscores our nation’s growing reputation as a premier destination for advanced technology investments. This new facility highlights Malaysia's attractiveness as a strategic hub for innovation and manufacturing, reflecting the company's confidence in our highly skilled workforce and favourable business environment.”

He added that Malaysia’s rich pool of talent and resources, made it an ideal location for high-tech companies like MKS Instruments to expand their operations. MIDA believes that MKS’ activities will significantly enhance the capability of manufacturing processes in Malaysia, aligning with the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030 to build a stronger future for Malaysia's advanced manufacturing sector.

“We look forward to a successful collaboration and invite other industry leaders to choose Malaysia as their preferred investment destination. Together, we will drive mutual growth and further enhance Malaysia’s rapidly expanding high-tech ecosystem," said Sikh Shamsul.

MKS products end up in a wide variety of sectors in an increasingly connected world. Source: MKS 2022 Analyst Day Presentation.


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