€400m to boost power chip production

November 04, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Bosch raises 2022 semiconductor capex to €400 million
Robert Bosch in Germany plans to spend €400m to expand power chip manufacturing in Dresden and Reutlingen in 2022.

The announcement comes a few weeks after the official opening of its 300mm wafer fab in Dresden where it is already producing chips for power tools and cars and will see an acceleration of chip production to try to meet the chip shortage.

"Demand for chips is continuing to grow at breakneck speed. In light of current developments, we are systematically expanding our semiconductor production so we can provide our customers with the best possible support," said Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management, in a statement.

Most of the capital expenditure is earmarked for Bosch's Dresden fab. Around €50m will be spent at the 200mm wafer fab in Reutlingen, near Stuttgart as part of a €150 million project to create additional clean-room space there that runs from 2021 to 2023.

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In Penang, Malaysia, Bosch is also building a test center for semiconductors from scratch. Starting in 2023, the center will test finished semiconductor chips and sensors.

"Our aim is to ramp up production of chips in Dresden earlier than planned and at the same time expand clean-room capacity in Reutlingen. Every additional chip we produce will help in the current situation," said Harald Kroeger, member of the board of management, in a statement. Kroeger was referring to the chip shortage that has affected many sectors but consumer and automotive electronics in particular. Many factories have been enduring a series of enforced shutdowns or slow working due to shortages of electronic components.

Bosch plans to add more than 4,000 square meters of clean-room space in Reutlingen in two stages. The first stage, adding 1,000 square meters of production area for 200mm-diameter wafers to bring the total to 11,500 square meters, has already been completed. This involved converting office space into a clean room over recent

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