EU Wants to Entice Chip Giants for A Top European Factory

Both Intel and TSMC will be in talks with the European Union today. The European Commission wants to convince them to bring advanced chip production to Europe.

 

Europe today accounts for ten percent of global chip production. By 2030, European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton wants to boost that to twenty percent.

Partly for this reason, he is aiming for European cooperation between the member states. He told journalists in Berlin this week that there are currently 22 member states willing to join that alliance, Reuters knows. This would include STMicroelectronics, NXP, Infineon and ASML.

Today, Friday, there is also an appointment scheduled with Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s new CEO, and a video call with Maria Marced, head of TSMC in Europe. In concrete terms, this would concern a factory that can produce at 2nm.

Today there are no commercial chips at 2 nanometers yet—both Intel and TSMC plan such an evolution in the coming years. The following generally applies to chips: the smaller the production process, the more transistors on the same surface and the less energy they consume.

Intel announced at the end of last month that it wants to invest twenty billion dollars in factories for chip production; one of those production sites will be Europe. The size and speed of these plans will probably partly depend on the European support that companies receive to expand here.

But the European ambition is not universally welcomed. According to Venturebeat, Taiwan’s Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua is unimpressed. He refers to TSMC’s statements that the most advanced chip development will continue to happen within Taiwan.

Naturally, the minister’s referral also fits in a broader context. Taiwan is pretty much the largest chip producer in the world today, and that’s thanks to TSMC. The company makes 58.8 percent of the world’s chips, according to Gartner.

This provides income and jobs but also increases Taiwan’s strategic importance in the world. Not unimportant if you know that the country has been independent for years but is still regarded by China as a rebellious province.

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