Silicon Saxony is growing. The Taiwanese contract chip manufacturer TSMC is building its first European semiconductor plant in Dresden. To this end, the world market leader is founding the joint venture European Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (ESMC) together with Bosch, Infineon and NXP. The so-called joint venture alludes to TSMC’s name – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.
The semiconductor plant is expected to cost a good 10 billion euros. TSMC itself wants to invest a maximum of 3.5 billion euros and holds 70 percent of ESMC. Funding of five billion euros is expected from the federal government. Bosch, Infineon and NXP will each receive ten percent of the shares and are each expected to invest around 500 million euros. TSMC will operate the facility; the three partners secure a say and manufacturing capacities.
Start of production in four years
If the authorities give the green light, construction should begin at the end of 2024. The first silicon chips from the semiconductor plant can be expected from the end of 2027. The companies would be later than expected.
TSMC wants to get started with a more modern process generation: In addition to the 22/28 nanometer generation, chips with 12/16 nm structures are also to be produced in Dresden. Once production has been ramped up, 40,000 silicon wafers with a diameter of 300 mm are to be exposed per month at the site. It typically takes several years after the inauguration to reach maximum capacity.
ESMC is primarily intended for the production of microcontrollers for cars. These do not require the most modern, most expensive manufacturing processes – however, even manufacturing capacities of 12 to 28 nm are rare in Europe.
The ESMC plant will be built west of Dresden Airport in the Airport Park. In addition to Bosch, Globalfoundries (GF) also operates a semiconductor plant there. Jenoptik is also currently building a factory for micro-optical lenses and sensors in the immediate vicinity. 2000 jobs are to be created at ESMC.
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