ST will not join European advanced chip alliance

ST will not join European advanced chip alliance
Business news |
Jean-Marc Chery, CEO of STMicroelectronics, has said his company will not be part of a possible alliance of European chipmakers to make advanced digital chips.
By Peter Clarke

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Chery was speaking on a French business channel a week after he announced strong sales results for the company (ST sales boom on strong demand, hits $12bn run-rate).

“We see this in a positive way. It will lead to competition in advanced technologies in Europe,” Chery said, but added: “If it is on advanced technologies, there is no reason to to be part. It is marginal in our activity.”

Chery said the desire of European Union politician’s to create a semiconductor alliance, to boost European chip manufacturing to 20 percent of the global total was laudable.

The obvious candidates for such an alliance are STMicroelectronics, Infineon, NXP, ASML plus research institutes such as IMEC, Leti and Fraunhofer. But just as they did back in 2013 and 2014 when European Commissioner Neelie Kroes proposed an ‘Airbus of chips’ Europe’s technical companies have said they are not interested in trying to compete at the leading-edge where they have already outsourced their manufacturing to foundries. At the same time they have asked for more financial support for the sensor, power and embedded ICs they want to make.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that inward investor Intel is Europe’s best chance of pushing local chip manufacturing closer to the leading-edge, which is now dominated by Samsung and TSMC.

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