Europe’s first fully digitised and highly interconnected microchip factory will be opened in Dresden today. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has provided approx. €140 million in funding to support the construction of a new factory by Robert Bosch GmbH, including a 300mm wafer assembly line. The funding was granted as part of the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) on microelectronics. Bosch is investing approx. €1 billion in high-tech manufacturing at the site. The wafer factory is soon to start producing the latest generation of chips for countless high tech applications, especially microchips used by the automotive industry.
Says Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier: “Dresden is on the cusp of a new era in microelectronics. The new semiconductor factory that opens today is one of the world’s most modern plants of its kind. As part of a common European project, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has provided approx. €140 million for the factory’s construction. This investment sends a clear message about the future of German and Saxony and is reflective of the outstanding research expertise and ability to innovate that characterises the Silicon Saxony microelectronics cluster. Germany needs a strong microelectronics industry so that we can be among the pioneers of future technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and automated driving.”
As part of the IPCEI on microelectronics, Bosch has built a new, highly automated silicon-based factory that is fully connected by 5G mobile technology. At the factory, which is located in Dresden and covers some 100,000 square metres, chips will be assembled on silicon discs measuring 300 mm in diameter. Operations of the various different installations will start in different phases. Silicon wafers have already been manufactured at the site since March – as part of a fully automated process and overseen by highly skilled professionals. The company plans to have the factory fully running by the end of 2021.
IPCEI on microelectronics
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is providing up to €1 billion in funding for the development of new microelectronics manufacturing plants and products. Under the current Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) on microelectronics, Austria, France, Germany, Italy and the UK are working on maintaining and enhancing European capabilities and expertise in the field of microelectronics. They are investing a combined total of €1.9 of public finances in this. Overall, there are 32 European companies involved in the IPCEI on microelectronics. These include 18 that have production sites in Germany. On their part, these companies are investing more than €12.6 billion in research, development, etc.