Chip makers STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries have announced plans to build a semiconductor factory in France. Government funding to draw from the initiative is meant to boost regional output.
This project also represents a 6.7 billion Euro investment from major global companies that president Macron is to announce at this year’s Choose France summit in Versailles. The United States and the European Union governments have been pushing for home-grown chip factories. They are offering billions in state subsidies to cut into the dependency on chip manufacturers in Asia.
The venture is also being undertaken to ease the global chip shortages that occurred during the pandemic. Those shortages had the greatest impact on carmakers, and now, there are signs that the shortages are waning.
The new plant for this venture will sit next to an already working chip factory in Crolles, France, and should reach full capacity by 2026. That is producing 620,000 wafers per year of production at a size of 18 nanometers, the announcement read.
Those chips are mainly used in automotive, the internet of things, and mobile applications. The company is keeping a hushed tone on just what level of investment the new site near the Italian and Swiss border will be from them. And no word on exactly how much funding they are receiving from the French government.
The word from the French president’s advisers is they could not disclose the subsidy amount as they are still unsure what will be coming from the European Commission as part of the Chips Act. The budget for that initiative has not yet been negotiated.
The new facility will create 1000 jobs and help boost STM’s revenue above $20 billion. STM is planning to double its investments this year, up to $3.6 billion. GlobalFoundries is also expanding in the US, Germany, and Singapore.
The building of chip factories has seen a surge with Intel’s staggering $88 billion investment across Europe. Germany was ultimately chosen for the site of Intel’s European Campus for chip manufacturing.
There remains some fear that now the global chip markets are feeling the tug of an economic downturn, and demand will be down significantly in coming years. That is not born out by the numbers from the makers in the semiconductor industry, who see a leveling of spending across the entire sector, with growth coming a little slower. But not anything like a slowdown.
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