Comment: Delivery bottlenecks: Europe is missing out on catching up with chips
Europe is talking about catching up with chips, America is acting. On Tuesday evening, the Korean memory chip specialist Samsung announced that it would build a new factory in Texas for 17 billion dollars.
Just last week, Texas Instruments announced that it would invest up to $ 30 billion in several state-of-the-art semiconductor factories in the US state.
It’s been going on for months. The US is pulling one project after the other on shore. Meanwhile, the EU is debating what kind of chips the continent needs and whether subsidies are really appropriate.
The discussions in Brussels, Berlin, Paris and other capitals should soon be superfluous. Because the chip manufacturers are now deciding on their new locations. If the EU and national governments allow themselves more time, the large budgets of the leading semiconductor manufacturers will be distributed for the foreseeable future.
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The EU has ambitious plans for chips. The share of world production is expected to increase from the current ten to 20 percent by the end of the decade. In view of the global delivery bottlenecks, this is a sensible goal. So far, however, nothing has been done to get closer to this. On the contrary: everything indicates that Europe is falling further behind.
Other countries are duping Europe
Because it is not only the USA that is currently succeeding in attracting the chip manufacturers. Singapore and Japan have also received pledges from foreign manufacturers in recent months for new factories worth billions of dollars. The producers made a conscious decision against Europe. Globalfoundries could have expanded its location in Dresden. Instead, the American contract manufacturer’s money is now flowing into the city-state of Singapore.
Particularly bitter for Europe: The chip companies invest in countries with comparable, sometimes even higher costs than Europe. And these are nations with a bureaucracy that is not much more dynamic than ours. Nevertheless, they managed to make the corporations an attractive offer. It is always a mix of subsidies for construction, attractive tax rates and competitive energy prices.
For Europe’s industry, the failure of the EU and individual governments is a disaster. The customers of the chip manufacturers can hardly hope for a more reliable delivery in the future. On the contrary: because chips are becoming more and more important in all areas of the economy, they will in future be even more dependent on semiconductor suppliers from overseas.
More: Silicon carbide: Tesla’s chip material of the future comes from Nuremberg.