Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMI), China's biggest chip manufacturer, announced that it would build its headquarters for southern China in Shenzhen and invest US$1.58 billion to build an IC R&D center and two IC chip production lines.

The R&D and production base for the front process of IC will be built in phases in this project and consist of an IC R&D center and two production lines for 8-inch chips and 12-inch chips, respectively. Advanced technology will be introduced from IBM for the 12-inch chip production line. The first-phase construction of the 8-inch production line will be launched in the first half of this year and completed at the end of 2009 and its initial monthly output is estimated at 30,000 to 50,000 chips.

Liu Yupu, deputy secretary of the Guangdong Party Committee and secretary of the Shenzhen Party Committee, and Xu Zongheng, mayor of Shenzhen, noted at the press conference that Shenzhen has many advantages, such as a good policy environment, solid industrial foundations and rich human resources, and welcomes large technical projects with high added value.

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