Infineon opens high-tech chip factory in Austria
Infineon Technologies AG officially opened its high-tech chip factory for power electronics on 300-millimeter thin wafers at its Villach site in Austria. At EUR 1.6 billion euros, the investment made by the semiconductor group represents one of the largest such projects in the microelectronics sector in Europe.
“The new fab is a milestone for Infineon, and its opening is very good news for our customers,” Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss. “The timing to create new capacity in Europe could not be better, given the growing global demand for power semiconductors. The last few months have clearly shown how essential microelectronics are in virtually every area of life. Given the accelerated pace of digitalization and electrification, we expect demand for power semiconductors to continue to grow in the coming years. The additional capacities will help us serve our customers worldwide even better, including long term.” The global chip-market situation clearly shows how important investments in innovative technologies are for the future. Today, microelectronics is the dominant technology on which all other developments, systems and technologies in the area of digitalization are based. With the expansion of its production facilities, Infineon is setting an industrial policy milestone in terms of supply security for both European industry and the global market. First products are currently being shipped After three years of preparation and construction, the factory was commissioned at the beginning of August, three months ahead of schedule. The first wafers will leave the Villach plant this week. In the first stage of expansion, the chips will primarily be used to meet demand from the automotive industry, data centers and renewable energy generation of solar and wind power. On the group level, the new factory will give Infineon additional sales potential of around two billion euros per year.© Infineon Technologies AG The semiconductors produced in Villach will be used in numerous applications. As a result, the new factory will enable Infineon to serve the growing market for power semiconductors in electric cars, data centers as well as solar and wind energy. Arithmetically speaking, the annual capacity planned for industrial semiconductors is sufficient to equip solar systems producing a total of around 1,500 TWh of electricity – roughly three times the annual power consumption in Germany. Chip factory links two sites in Europe to form a mega-factory The new chip factory has about 60,000 m² of gross floor space. Production will be gradually ramped up over the next four to five years. More than two-thirds of the 400 additional highly qualified specialists needed to operate the factory have already been hired. Jochen Hanebeck, a member of the Management Board and Chief Operations Officer of Infineon, said: “Infineon now has two large power semiconductor manufacturing sites for 300-millimeter thin wafers, one in Dresden and one in Villach. Both sites are based on the same standardized production and digitization concepts. This allows us to control the manufacturing operations at the two sites as if they were one factory. We increase productivity and create additional flexibility for our customers. This is because we can quickly move production volumes for different products between the sites and thus respond even faster to their needs. With the virtual megafactory, Infineon is setting a new benchmark in 300-millimeter manufacturing. This makes further increases in resource and energy efficiency possible, as well as optimization of the environmental footprint.”