STMicro and GlobalFoundries plan a 5.7 billion euro French factory

Published on:

Paris (AFP)- French-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics and US-based GlobalFoundries will pump 5.7 billion euros ($5.8 billion) into a new semiconductor factory in France, the companies and the president’s office announced on Monday. Emanuel Macron.

The two companies aim “to create a new jointly operated semiconductor fab next to ST’s existing 300mm fab in Crolles,” STMicroelectronics said in a statement, referring to its factory at the exterior of Grenoble, in the south-east of France.

Planned to employ around 1,000 people, the plant is expected to reach full capacity by 2026, the company added, with the plant seen as part of efforts to reduce European dependence on Asian manufacturing. .

Chip factories like that of STMicroelectronics produce integrated circuits on 300-millimeter (12-inch) circular “wafers” of silicon.

GlobalFoundries and STMicroelectronics plan to produce their latest designs at the factory, with some elements as small as 18 nanometers – about 5,000 times smaller than the thickness of a sheet of paper.

These chips are “expected to remain in high demand for automotive, internet of things and mobile applications for decades to come,” STMicroelectronics said.

The company added that the factory would receive “significant financial support from the French state”.

“This is the biggest industrial investment in recent decades outside of the nuclear industry,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire wrote on Twitter.

“It’s a big step for our industrial sovereignty.”

Push towards European sourcing

President Macron plans to visit the existing factory on Tuesday to present the government’s plans to support chip manufacturing with “more than five billion euros” under an industrial program dubbed “France 2030”, it said. his office.

He has been one of the loudest voices in favor of more chipmaking capacity in the EU, where the European Commission earlier this year proposed a €43 billion Chips Act to stimulate the field.

The disruption of supply chains during the Covid-19 pandemic has focused the minds of decision makers on diversifying the sources of key components.

Shortages of chips mostly produced in Asia have held back vital European industries like car manufacturing even after health restrictions eased.

US chip giant Intel said in March it would pump up to 80 billion euros into its European operations over the next decade, particularly in Germany, France and Ireland.

In France, the new Crolles plant “would strongly contribute to the objectives of the European Chips Act, in particular the objective that Europe reaches 20% of the world’s semiconductor production by 2030”, said STMicroelectronics.

The Elysée said that Crolles “would become the largest semiconductor production site in France and one of the largest in Europe”.

Monday’s announcement of the new factory was a first prize for Macron on the day of his annual “Choose France” summit.

The president invites top businessmen and financiers to the lavish Palace of Versailles outside of Paris every year in an effort to attract foreign investment.

Finance Minister Le Maire said on Twitter that gains this year totaled €6.7 billion in investment and more than 4,000 new jobs.

In 2021, France claimed to be Europe’s top destination for foreign investment, with 1,222 individual projects, although a study by consultancy firm EY found that most of them were small.

Comments are closed.