Dresden – Semiconductor manufacturer Globalfoundries (GF) is ramping up production in Europe in the face of a global chip shortage. And takes a lot of money to do it. The Dresden plant is to be expanded with an enormous sum…
After around 300,000 wafers (semiconductor discs) left the Dresden production facility in 2020, it should be 700,000 this year and around 850,000 by the end of 2023, as Managing Director Manfred Horstmann said on request: “We produce more because the demand for semiconductors is so high .”
Over a period of three years, significantly more than one billion US dollars will be invested in the expansion of the German plant.
In addition, there would be new GF capacities at the site of the French chip manufacturer ST Microelectronics in the greater Grenoble area, which should bring an additional output of 360,000 wafers per year.
The car industry in particular is hungry for chips, it said. While in the past around 60 to 70 of these were installed in a car, there are now several hundred. On the one hand, this is related to the switch from combustion engines to electric cars. The demands of buyers have also changed over the years.
“Today’s cars are moving computers,” said Horstmann. The output of chips for the automotive sector is growing by 15 to 16 percent per year. By the end of next year they would make up a sixth of the total production in Dresden.
“As the state capital of Saxony, we must maintain and expand our leading European position in semiconductor production by supporting further investments by semiconductor manufacturers,” said FDP member of the Bundestag Torsten Herbst after a visit to GF. The extensive investment plans of Globalfoundries and other manufacturers at the Dresden location would mean an enormous opportunity.
“Billions of euros are available in the federal budget and at European level for the expansion of semiconductor production. However, Germany has to be much quicker in making decisions about financial support, otherwise we will lose key investments in Asia or the USA,” said Herbst. It is in the national and Saxon interest to become less dependent on Asian production sites in chip production by expanding domestic chip production.
According to GF, it has around 300 customers worldwide, and the Dresden plant alone has around 120. With a clean room area of around 60,000 square meters, it is the largest semiconductor plant in Europe. More than 3300 employees work here. They not only manufacture chips for the automotive sector, but also for products such as smartphones and applications in the areas of cyber security, mobile banking and 5G technology.