The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, praised the initiative to create a new plant for the production of Infineon chips in Germany. This is an important milestone as Europe seeks to gain more market share in this strategic industry and secure its technological independence.
Speaking of the groundbreaking for Infineon’s German factory in Dresden, von der Leyen said it was an important step towards Europe’s goal of doubling its global chip manufacturing market share by 2030 by quadrupling its current capacity. However, she warned that Europe is still too dependent on raw materials from individual suppliers. China, in particular, supplies 76% of the metallic silicon used in the manufacture of chips.
The European Union, supported by the United States and some other countries, intends to catch up with Asia and the United States and reduce dependence on Asia amid rising tensions between mainland China and Taiwan. Last month, the EU passed its ‘chip law’, providing €43 billion in subsidies for semiconductor manufacturing to ensure supplies of critical components after COVID-19-related health restrictions caused serious disruptions in semiconductor supplies, affecting the production of many product groups, from smartphones to cars.
Von der Leyen pointed out how geopolitical risks have increased recently, strengthening production chains in Europe for the production of critical goods and technologies. This also means that Europe needs its own mass production of critical goods.
Infineon expects the €5 billion facility, the company’s largest investment, to start production in 2026. Other chip manufacturers are also investing in Germany – the American Wolfspeed is building a plant in the country and investing 2.75 billion euros. Intel is also building a large plant in Magdeburg.