GlobalFoundries and STMicroelectronics are in talks to build a chip fab in France

nanoguy

Posts: 1,243   +24
Staff member
In context: For the past two years, the chip shortage has been a thorn in the side of many companies operating in the tech and automotive industries. A simple solution to the problem doesn't exist, but chipmakers are currently exploring all options to diversify their supply chain and expand capacity. The EU looks increasingly attractive as a manufacturing hub thanks to its efforts to rejuvenate the semiconductor industry in the region and reduce its reliance on chip imports.

Intel, TSMC, and Samsung are pouring billions into ambitious expansion projects. They plan to build factories in multiple regions to create a more resilient global supply chain for advanced semiconductors, and their eyes are set on the US, Japan, and the EU. Companies like Foxconn and mining giant Vedanta are also considering India, but those ambitions rely much more heavily on government subsidies.

According to a Bloomberg report, interest in the EU as a location for semiconductor manufacturing is growing among chipmakers. For instance, GlobalFoundries and STMicroelectronics are said to be in talks to build a fab somewhere in France.

The two companies are hoping to tap into the EU's proposed €43 billion ($44.8 billion) fund for the Chips for Europe Initiative, which will allow governments to incentivize semiconductor research and development as well as volume manufacturing in the region. And while a final decision has not been made on whether or not to build the new chip factory, getting access to subsidies would greatly improve the chances of it materializing.

If GlobalFoundries and STMicroelectronics do decide to build a foundry in France, it probably won't make cutting-edge chips. Both companies are focused on producing specialized chips like microcontrollers, sensors, flash memory, and MEMS devices. Back in April, the two chipmakers announced a partnership to develop the next generation of FD-SOI technology that's geared towards automotive, industrial, and 5G/6G applications.

Meanwhile, Intel has secured subsidies of €6.8 billion ($7.1 billion) to build a fab in Germany that will produce chips on sub-3nm process nodes like Intel 20A and Intel 18A. Lesser-known chipmakers like Will Electronic SA are also building additional capacity for DRAM and NAND products designed by Goodram.

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Revolution 11

Posts: 178   +232
12nm 4evah!

Seriously, though, not every chip needs a cutting-edge node. More fabs located in (relatively) politically secure areas is good.
More fabs, more chips, all over the place. It's all good. My question is if they are still in talks now, when do they plan to have mass production of chips in customer hands? 2026?
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,192   +871
More fabs, more chips, all over the place. It's all good. My question is if they are still in talks now, when do they plan to have mass production of chips in customer hands? 2026?

As I stated elsewhere a lot of chip fabrication is applied knowledge and experience .

Then you will need that Dutch company ASML's EUV lithography machines,- think there are a few others - but they aren't as cutting edge - they don't just sell you them - you book their engineers to spend a few months dialling it in

If it was so easy China with stolen tech could be pumping out chips
 

xpwjintel

Posts: 11   +1
As I stated elsewhere a lot of chip fabrication is applied knowledge and experience .

Then you will need that Dutch company ASML's EUV lithography machines,- think there are a few others - but they aren't as cutting edge - they don't just sell you them - you book their engineers to spend a few months dialling it in

If it was so easy China with stolen tech could be pumping out chips
This is so true. Majority of the TSMC staff /management had been on China's payroll for years now. (this is known within the industry for years now in taiwan & china) China has also successfully poached number of senior executives from TSMC throughout the years. Even with this and unlimited funds from the China goverment itself, they can't produce anything close to TSMC product performance and in any large enough volume. It'll be interesting to see how long until this fab can produce a up-to-date performance chip with reasonable volume at a reasonable timeline.