Infineon Opens Chip Factory in Austria
Semiconductor company Infineon has opened a new plant in Villach (Austria). In view of global supply bottlenecks for semiconductors, the timing could not be better. Microelectronics is in greater demand than ever.
Infineon Technologies AG has opened its new high-tech chip factory for power electronics on 300-mm thin wafers at its Villach site. The company revealed that 1.6 billion euros have been invested in the factory. Over the next four to five years, Infineon plans to gradually ramp up production. Together with the Dresden (Germany) site, Infineon now has two large power semiconductor factories for 300-mm thin wafers.
“The last few months have clearly shown how essential microelectronics is in almost all areas of life. Given the accelerated pace of electrification and digitalization, we expect the demand for power semiconductors to continue to grow in the coming years. The additional capacity will help us to serve our customers worldwide even better - and in the long term, too,” said Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG.
Electromobility is a key growth area
With the new plant, which will create 400 highly qualified jobs, Infineon aims to accelerate electromobility in particular. The factory can equip around 25 million electric cars a year with power semiconductors. Electromobility will be a key growth model, Infineon CEO Ploss said at the September 17, 2021, press conference ahead of the factory opening. Infineon generates about 40 % of its sales in the automotive sector, he said.
Supply bottlenecks remain
However, Infineon’s new factory is unlikely to change the global shortage of chips and the supply bottlenecks. The industry does not expect things to return to normal until 2022. Infineon CEO Ploss also believes it is possible that the shortage among contract manufacturers, the so-called foundries, could continue until 2023. This year alone, according to the latest estimates, around five million fewer cars are likely to be built due to the lack of chips.
After three years of preparation and construction, the factory went into operation at the beginning of August, three months earlier than initially planned. In the first stage of expansion, the chips will primarily meet demand from the automotive industry, in the field of data centers and renewable energy generation from solar and wind power. According to the Infineon Group, the new factory has additional sales potential of around two billion euros per year.
BU: Online press conference for the opening of the Infineon chip factory in Villach: Dr. Sabine Herlitschka, CEO Infineon Technologies Austria AG; Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO Infineon Technologies AG and Jochen Hanebeck, COO Infineon Technologies AG (from left)
Infineon site in Villach with the new chip factory