Infineon to build €1.6bn 300mm power semi line

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Over the next six years, the chipmaker will spend €1,6 billion in the new fully automated production line for thin wafers, creating some 400 jobs in the production. The new fab will replace the existing rather small 300mm production facility at the same place. It will complement Infineon’s current main 300mm production line in Dresden, and it is planned that it will have a comparable capacity in the final expansion stage. “Our customers need delivery reliability. With a second manufacturing line, we can secure this stability and flexibility”, said Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss.

Infineon already runs a power semiconductor R&D center along with a production line in Villach. Manufacturing of power semiconductors on 300mm thin wafers was developed there and then expanded into the fully automated high-volume production in Dresden. The large wafer diameter of 300mm enables significant productivity gains over the conventional (and prevailing) 200mm technology. Thin wafers, while difficult to manufacture, offer the benefit of lower electric resistance – an important competitive advantage for power semiconductors.

The extensions to Infineon’s Villach campus include
a new production hall and also a new R&D centre. 
(Sorry for the German – no English version available)

Construction start for the new facility is planned for the first half of 2019; the production ramp-up is scheduled for beginning of 2021.

Sabine Herlitschka, CEO of Infineon Austria, pointed out that the move helps to bring back the semiconductor industry to Europe – an industry that has believed to be lost to Asia. “By 2020, we expect that microelectronics will account for 30 to 45% of the European GDP. Under this aspect, this is a very important decision,” she said.

One of the reasons to select Villach for the investment was the speed to get productive. “The demand is so high that almost every day counts,” said Ploss. “Dresden’s capacity is fully utilized, and (our third power semiconductor location) Kulim, Malaysia, would have required much more time to build and run up such a factory.”

Besides conventional silicon products, the facility will also have the task to commercialize the promising power semiconductor materials such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Arsenide (GaN), Herlitschka said.

Related articles:

Infineon to launch R&D center for automotive electronics, AI

Infineon speeds capacity expansion amidst strong order entry



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