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Intersil donates 100,000 square-foot wafer fab to the University of Central Florida

April 29, 2010 // Julien Happich

In a move to help propel high-tech business, education and research in Florida, Intersil announced that it will donate a high-technology semiconductor wafer fabrication facility and the land it occupies to the University of Central Florida. The gift consists of 100,494 square feet (approximately 9,336 square meters) of office space, manufacturing and cleanroom facilities, plus a 5-acre (2 hectare) property.

In addition, Intersil will provide utilities and assist with operating expenses during the first three years of UCF's ownership, enabling a turnkey solution for the university. The entire donation is valued at approximately $13 million.

"Intersil is proud to make this unique wafer fabrication facility available to one of the nation's major institutions of higher education," said Dave Bell, Intersil's CEO.  "It is our hope that the University of Central Florida will use this facility as a teaching and research centre, as well as a high-tech business incubator for Palm Bay and the surrounding communities."

"This donation will further position UCF and the surrounding area as a major centre for high-technology and business development," said M.J. Soileau, vice president for research and commercialization at UCF. "We have a long history of helping develop technology business through research, and Intersil's generosity will increase our ability to serve as an economic catalyst."

Soileau said UCF will use the site to expand its presence in Brevard County as a centre for innovation and education. Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, said the donation will positively impact both the Space Coast and the state.

The wafer fabrication facility was built by Harris Semiconductor in 1977 and has served as part of Intersil's semiconductor wafer fabrication operations until last year, when operations were consolidated into a single facility. Known as "Fab 54," the facility has been used to make integrated circuits for major government, defense and aerospace programs. The facility was also used to make analogue and mixed-signal products for consumer electronics such as wireless and telecommunications equipment.

Intersil continues to make advanced semiconductor products in its Palm Bay, Florida facility, which serves as one of the company's major manufacturing locations. Approximately 550 people are employed in Palm Bay in a variety of engineering, manufacturing and administrative functions.
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