Altera Announces an Increase in its WaferTech
- $37.5 million deal increases equity interest to 23 percent
- Ensures quick ramp of upcoming Altera products
- Transaction closes January 1999
San Jose, Calif., December 2, 1998 -- Altera Corporation (Nasdaq:
ALTR) today announced that it has agreed to increase its ownership stake in WaferTech, a
state-of-the-art joint venture semiconductor manufacturing facility in Camas, Washington.
The joint venture's partners include TSMC, Altera, Analog Devices, and Integrated Silicon
Solutions. WaferTech began initial volume production in the third quarter and is expected
to ramp into commercial volume in 1999.
Under the terms of the agreement, Altera will pay $37.5 million to secure an additional
five percent ownership interest in the venture, bringing its total equity position in
WaferTech to 23 percent. The transaction is expected to close in January 1999.
"We are very satisfied with WaferTech's progress to date," said Rodney Smith,
president and CEO of Altera. "The foundry's quality and yields have exceeded our
expectations, and the proximity of the WaferTech facility has enabled us to quickly ramp
our products into volume. These benefits will be of increasing importance as we accelerate
the pace of new product introductions. Although the financial results of our investment
will continue to be negative in the next several quarters, we are confident that over the
long term this investment will make a positive financial contribution and will be an
important strategic asset. Moreover, TSMC has been Altera's principal source of wafers for
several years, and we are pleased with this opportunity to further strengthen our
Dr. Morris Chang, chairman and CEO of TSMC, commented, "Altera's support has been
instrumental in getting WaferTech's processes qualified and into production. Over the
years, they have been a strong and stable customer of TSMC and we are encouraged by their
increased commitment to WaferTech."
Safe Harbor Notice
This press release contains "forward looking statements" which are made
pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. Forward looking statements are generally preceded by words such as
"expects," "believes," "anticipates," "projects,"
or "intends." Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements in
this release involve risks and uncertainty, including without limitation the risks that
the closing of the purchase transaction, WaferTech's ability to yield commercial volume
production, and WaferTech's positive financial contribution to Altera, may be delayed or
may not occur. Please refer to the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings,
copies of which are available from the Company without charge, for further information.
About Altera Corporation
Altera Corporation, The Programmable Solutions Company,
was founded in 1983 and is a worldwide leader in high-performance, high-density
programmable logic devices and associated computer aided engineering (CAE) logic
development tools. Programmable logic devices are semiconductor chips that offer on-site
programmability to customers. The chips are programmed using tools that run on personal
computers or engineering work stations. User benefits include ease of use, lower risk, and
fast time-to-market. The company offers the broadest line of CMOS programmable logic
devices that address high-speed, high-density, and low-power applications. Altera products
serve a broad range of markets, including telecommunications, data communications,
computer peripherals, and industrial applications. Altera common stock is traded on the
Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol ALTR.