Bosch invests in Dresden: three billion euros for chip production in Germany – Economy

Bosch is investing a further three billion euros in its semiconductor business. This was announced by Bosch boss Stefan Hartung on Wednesday in Dresden. The world’s largest automotive supplier is once again relying on funding from the European IPCEI program to expand its locations in Dresden and Reutlingen. Hartung did not provide any information on the exact amount. “For us, it’s big business in the smallest of components,” said Bosch Tech-Day.

A little over a year ago, Bosch opened its semiconductor factory in Dresden at the height of the chip crisis, at that time with a major political event in the presence of (digital) Angela Merkel and EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. According to the company, the plant in the capital of Saxony is the most modern chip factory in Europe, fully digitized and networked. “It’s hard to believe, but it’s true: this new chip factory is the first 300mm technology built in Europe since 1999,” said Hartung.

The Bosch chip factory is a flagship project for politicians. Europe should become competitive as a semiconductor manufacturing site and stand up to the superior power of Asian manufacturers. By the end of the decade, Europe’s share of world semiconductor production is expected to double from ten percent to 20 percent.

semiconductors for industry

“Setting a political course is important, but not everything. It should also be supported by society, ”said Hartung. Europe will not become self-sufficient thanks to supplies from other regions of the world, which is also not the goal. “But this continent can and must bring its own strengths.”

It is important to consider also the needs of European industry, not only the smallest nanometric structures, which are mainly used in consumer electronics and smartphones. “In electronics, for example, structure widths of 40 to 200 nanometers are important for electromobility,” explained Hartung.

To date, Bosch has invested one billion euros in semiconductor production and received around 200 million euros in public funding – the largest single investment in the company’s history to date. Ultimately, the plant in Silicon Saxony is to create 700 jobs, and by the end of 2022, 400 employees are to be employed.

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The facility, which, despite the Corona, started six months earlier than planned, now has 10,000 square meters of clean room space. For EUR 250 million, it is to be expanded by 3,000 square meters in the coming year. A new development center is also planned, with 100 additional jobs to be created there. “We are increasing the pace due to supply bottlenecks in our industries,” said head Bosch Hartung.

Data limit for 400 Netflix movies in HD quality

Artificial Intelligence (AI) makes production in Dresden extremely efficient. According to Bosch, huge amounts of data can be processed in this way. About 150,000 sensors were installed in the new plant. According to Bosch, they generate a data volume of 250 megabytes per second – as much as the simultaneous transmission of 400 Netflix movies in HD quality.

Power tool chips were originally produced in Dresden, and today 99 percent of them are semiconductors for the automotive industry. Bosch estimates that the share of chips in cars will quadruple this decade, from 200 to 800 euros. Bosch still does not meet the high demand for microcontrollers in industry, in Saxony it produces mainly for its own use, e.g. special chips for automated driving. According to Hartung, bottlenecks are easing in some areas of the chip industry, while supply and demand are still lagging behind in other sectors. Here, the recovery will not start until 2023.

Bosch engineers are entering a new territory thanks to the smallest microelectromechanical sensors (MENS), which will also be produced in the so-called 300 mm wafers. “This has not existed in the industry until now,” said boss Bosch Hartung.

In the case of such new technological solutions, the use of subsidy money by the company is also fully justified. “We want to set a standard that the rest of the world does not have,” explained the Bosch boss. 78,000 employees work in research and development every second in the software area.

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