NXP isn’t overly excited about European plans to build a leading-edge fab. “It doesn’t have to be the most advanced type,” NXP Netherlands executive Jean Schreurs told Forum magazine when asked about the plans to build a new fab in Europe (link in Dutch). Schreurs would rather see government support for next generations of IC technologies, such as AI and 6G.
The European Commission is currently working out plans to bolster semiconductor manufacturing operations in Europe, aiming to double its market share to 20 percent by 2030. One strand of the plan is to get a leading-edge chip manufacturer to build a chip factory in Europe. In parallel, European Commissioner Thierry Breton wants to to forge an alliance of companies aimed at expanding Europe’s current strengths, getting trailing-edge (20-10nm) manufacturing off the ground, boosting IC design capabilities and fostering demand by getting the continent’s system companies involved.
Europe’s chipmakers aren’t interested in the alliance, however. Jean-Marc Chery, CEO of STMicroelectronics, called it “marginal” to the activities of his company. “The vast majority, if not all of the components, in a car today and in the next five years to come won’t take any benefit from anything below 20 nanometers,” said Infineon Technologies’ chief marketing officer Helmut Gassel. Schreurs, too, hinted that a fab for automotive chips would be the most useful.