The European chip manufacturer STMicroelectronics wants to build a new plant in Crolles near Grenoble, France, together with the US partner Globalfoundries. The companies did not disclose the exact amount of the investment, but according to the daily Le Figaro it is around four billion euros. Around 1000 new jobs are to be created.
Established manufacturing processes on 300mm
The site is expected to reach full capacity in 2026 and then produce 620,000 300mm wafers per year (more than 50,000 wafer starts monthly). Of this, STMicroelectronics markets 42 percent and Globalfoundries 58 percent, primarily for the automotive, industrial, IoT and telecommunications industries.
The plant will produce several process technologies, primarily Fully Depleted Silicon-on-Insulator (FD-SOI), which enable particularly low-power circuits. FD-SOI was developed by STMicroelectronics and first deployed on a large scale by Globalfoundries in their Dresden fabs.
Globalfoundries (GF) brings its 22FDX process to Crolles, STMicroelectronics (STM, STMicro) wants to manufacture down to 18 nanometers.
STMicroelectronics already has several production facilities in Crolles that also process 300 millimeter wafers. Soitec manufactures SOI wafers in Bernin between Grenoble and Crolles.
Another important location is Agrate Brianza near Milan. There, STMicroelectronics is currently building a joint plant for 300 mm wafers together with the Israeli contract manufacturer Tower Semiconductor, which has been taken over by Intel.
Significant subsidies flow
The two partners said they received “significant financial support from the French state”. The new plant will make a strong contribution to achieving the goals of the European Community’s European Chips Act. This provides for twenty percent of global semiconductor production to be located in Europe. (ulw)