As the United States continues to debate how and whether to subsidize its semiconductor manufacturing industry, one of its leaders – GlobalFoundries – has announced a joint venture to build a manufacture of wafers with the Swiss company STMicroelectronics and “significant financial support from the French State”.
The two companies announced today that they have signed a “Memorandum of Understanding to create a new jointly operated 300mm semiconductor manufacturing facility adjacent to ST’s existing 300mm facility in Crolles, France. “.
The plant is expected to come into operation in 2026 and produce 620,000 300 mm wafers per year. GlobalFoundries will get 58% of the proceeds, with the rest going to STMicroelectronics.
The factory will produce wafers using Full Depleted Silicon On Insulator technology, a chip manufacturing technique that produces fast, power-hungry chips that are not state-of-the-art but have characteristics that make them make them suitable for use in automotive and Internet of Things applications. Both companies will target buyers such as automakers and manufacturers of communications equipment with the factory exit.
The two companies said the factory will help them scale their products in the future and that the factory’s output will remain relevant to buyers “for decades to come”.
Everyone involved is also delighted with the 1,000 jobs the plant will produce and the contribution it will make to the European Union’s goal of producing 20% of the world’s silicon by 2030 while reducing dependence on to long, fragile and contested supply chains.
News of the factory construction project confirms whispers that The register heard a month ago, and our thinking at the time that the install would focus on the commodity kit.
The announcement follows Taiwan’s GlobalWafers announcing in late June that it planned to build a factory in Texas after German authorities blocked its acquisition of local hero Siltronics and Germany’s announced decision to offer Intel a 6.8 billion euro ($7.3 billion) booster that will defray the cost of building a chip factory within its borders.
France has not been awkward enough to discuss the amount of euros it will send to STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries. ®