"Go big" for European chip sovereignty, says Silicon Saxony : Page 2 of 2

March 07, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
"Go big" for European chip sovereignty, says Silicon Saxony
The Silicon Saxony industry association has said funding for the European semiconductor industry needs to be comparable with that in the United States and also warned against delay.

In translation the letter said: "Without a fast and consistent implementation of IPCEI 2, there is a risk of a further loss of importance for Europe and Germany within the global value chain. The world is not waiting for Europe. In these days investment decisions have been and are being made worldwide, for example by TSMC and Samsung in the USA or TSMC in Japan."

It added: "The federal government and the EU must provide the necessary funds to enable ambitious projects, especially in comparison to the above-mentioned Asian countries and the USA."

The letter said that one of the biggest risks was of delay (see Europe will try to rebuild semiconductor capability using pandemic recovery funds). "Since delays are foreseeable with the large number of expressions of interest from other countries, we demand that the German partners start by July 1, 2021, at the latest, as well as a concrete implementation plan to achieve this goal."

Silicon Saxony argued that Germany should be the coordinator of the European plan to promote R&D, innovation and "above all" manufacturing expansion. In the IPCEI the governmental funding quota is likely to represent 20 to 40 percent of the total project budget, something that Silicon Saxony welcomed.

Silicon Saxony did not address the big difference in cost and time-scale, between expanding the manufacturing capacity of Europe's current capability and that of seeking to develop and manufacture leading-edge digital processes. 

The latter would almost certainly require the support of global leaders Samsung or TSMC. Both of which are heavily engaged in the US (see Reports: Europe wants Samsung and TSMC to enter fab project). But it would also represent a conflict of interest with indigenous European chip makers such as Globalfoundries, Infineon and STMicroelectronics who are not engaged in leading-edge digital manufacturing. To the extent that they operate at the leading-edge they do so by outsourcing their designs to TSMC and Samsung and others.

Related links and articles:

www.silicon-saxony.de

News articles:

Europe will try to rebuild semiconductor capability using pandemic recovery funds

Germany ready to help Europe invest 'billions' in chip manufacturing

Reports: Europe wants Samsung and TSMC to enter fab project

Opinion: Time for Europe to wake from a 30-year slumber

TSMC has no "concrete" plans to make chips in Europe

Reports: TSMC planning for six wafer fabs in Arizona


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