The European Union fully supports the plan to increase the production of 5G semiconductors in Europe. The body is now evaluating the feasibility of establishing factories capable of producing cutting-edge silicon chips with the support of the world’s top chip manufacturers. According to reports, the European Union will have to cooperate with Samsung or TSMC. However, there is no final decision on the semiconductor production for now.
The goal of this factory is to manufacture chips below 10nm (possibly as small as 2nm) for use in a range of fields such as high-performance computing, 5G, and automotive. This project includes 17 EU countries including France, Germany, and Spain. Their plan is to improve Europe’s own chip production capabilities. The European Commission has also provided support for this, and it has proposed similar goals.
The EU seeks to produce 20% of the world’s semiconductors
The world’s semiconductor heavyweights are concentrated in Asia and North America. The likes of TSMC and Samsung are good representatives of the Asian continent. In North America, we have the likes of Broadcom, Intel, and others. However, In Europe, we do not have such large semiconductor companies. We can mention a few like Dutch NXP Semiconductors and Swiss STMicroelectronics. However, these companies do not make as much impact as foundries in Asia and North America. Now, the European Union has set a goal to produce a good chunk of the world’s semiconductors.
According to the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, the EU should pursue the production of at least one-fifth of the value of global chips and microprocessors. He believes that this is necessary to better compete with the United States and China. Furthermore, he said that semiconductors are a very significant part of technological development. From his speech, semiconductors drive various products such as smart cars, smartphones, and high-performance computers. For him, these “are the starting point of most critical and strategic value chains.”
EU currently accounts for less than 10% of the world’s semiconductors
“Europe has no autonomy in the field of microelectronics, there will be no digital sovereignty,” Breton said. Europe currently accounts for less than 10% of the world’s semiconductors – global processor and other microelectronics products.
Breton said he will also explore the establishment of the European Microelectronics Alliance, with initial public and private investment totaling up to 30 billion euros ($34 billion).
Following the recent strategy in China, EU officials’ plan to boost local chip production. Just like China, it is also seeking to get rid of foreign chip imports.
“In the face of growing tensions between the United States and China, Europe will not just be a bystander, let alone a battleground,” Breton said. “If we seize the opportunities of data, microelectronics, and connectivity, Europe will be in the lead.”