Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries Invest in Semiconductor Plant in France

Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, July 12th 2022 à 15:35 | Read 579 times

STMicroelectronics already has a factory on the site of Crolles, near Grenoble (photo: ST)
STMicroelectronics already has a factory on the site of Crolles, near Grenoble (photo: ST)
FRANCE. French-Italian STMicroelectronics (ST) and US-based GlobalFoundries (GF) are to build a semiconductor production plant in Crolles, near Grenoble. A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed on Monday 11 July 2022 at the Château de Versailles during the "Choose France" summit.

The project, estimated at €5.7 billion, will benefit from "significant financial support from the French government", the two partners said in a statement, without specifying the amount. "This is the largest industrial investment in recent decades outside the nuclear sector and a major step forward for our industrial sovereignty", commented Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy. This sum represents the major part of the €6.7 billion announced during this fifth edition of "Choose France", which brought together 180 foreign CEOs.

"This facility will make a major contribution to achieving the objectives of the European law on chips, in particular that of seeing Europe reach 20% of world semiconductor production by 2030. In addition to the significant multi-year investment in advanced semiconductor manufacturing in Europe, it will support the leadership and resilience of European technology ecosystems, from R&D (with the recently announced R&D cooperation between ST, GF, CEA-Leti and Soitec) to high-volume manufacturing, and will support European and global customers with additional capacity in complex and advanced technologies for key end-markets, including automotive, industrial, Internet of Things and communications infrastructure," says a joint statement.

A factory operational in 2026

The new plant will be adjacent to the existing STMicroelectronics plant. It is expected to create some 1,000 additional jobs at the Crolles site. It will be operational from 2026 and will develop several technologies with an annual production of 620,000 300 mm semiconductor wafers at full capacity, 58% of which will go to GF (which will have its own part managed by its employees) and 42% to ST.

The economy of scale achieved will "accelerate the development of the semiconductor production capacity the world needs, with high capital efficiency", the statement said. The text also states that the two companies are committed to "strengthening their capabilities for their European and global customers".

With this new tool, STMicroelectronics aims to "achieve sales of more than $20 billion (€19.88 billion). The collaboration with GF will allow us to go faster, to lower the risk thresholds and to strengthen the European FD-SOI ecosystem", underlines Jean-Marc Chery.

According to the president and CEO of the Franco-Italian company, "ST is transforming its manufacturing base. We already have a unique position in our 300mm wafer manufacturing facility in Crolles, France, which will be further strengthened by today's announcement. We continue to invest in our new 300mm wafer fab in Agrate (near Milan, Italy), which will ramp up in the first half of 2023, with full capacity expected by the end of 2025, as well as in our vertically integrated silicon carbide and gallium nitride manufacturing.

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