ST and GlobalFoundries invest billions in Crolles in joint manufacturing for FD-SOI

The trumpet of Bloomberg was not pierced: STMicroelectronics and the founder GlobalFoundries signed a memorandum of understanding on the creation of a new plant for the production of semiconductors on 300 mm wafers in France. The planned investment of several billion euros will receive significant financial support from the French state.

This joint venture will be adjacent to ST’s existing 300mm plant in Kroll. This new facility should be at full capacity by 2026 to process up to 620,000 300mm wafers per year. About 42% of the capacity will be allocated to ST and 58% to Globalfoundries.

The announcement is part of the “Choose France” summit aimed at boosting France’s attractiveness, which will take place this afternoon in Versailles with Emmanuel Macron. This will be the most important of the investment projects to be announced (in the economic press it is about 4 billion of the total 6.7 billion euros). This is also part of the European Chip Law.

ST and GF are committed to increasing production capacity to serve their customers in Europe and around the world. This new division will produce a wide range of technologies, including FD-SOI-based technologies (Fully depleted silicon on the insulatorcompletely depleted silicon on the insulator), and its variants. This includes the factory’s FDX technology, as well as the full range of technologies in the ST roadmap up to the 18nm node to meet demand in the automotive, IoT and mobile industries over the next few years, decades. Volkswagen, Qualcomm, Valeo and Mediatek, customers of the founder of FD-SOI technology, welcome the announcement.

FD-SOI technology was born in the Grenoble region. From the very beginning, this has been part of the roadmap for the products and technologies produced at the ST manufacturing plant in Kroll. Differentiation was subsequently granted to be sold and produced at GF’s production unit in Dresden, Germany. FD-SOI technology is characterized by ultra-low power consumption and simplified integration of additional functions such as radio frequency (RF), millimeter wave (mmWave) connectivity and security.

ST and GF will receive significant financial support from France for this new production unit. Its amount is not specified. This is part of the goals of the European plan “Microcircuit Law”, one of the goals of which is to bring European production capacity to 20% of the world’s capacity by 2030. This large investment over several years is aimed not only at the production of semiconductors in developed countries. technologies in Europe, as well as to support the leadership and sustainability of European technology ecosystems, R&D (with the recently announced R&D collaboration between ST, GF, CEA-Leti and Soitec – see article) for high-volume production, thereby meeting European and global customer demand for additional capabilities in complex and advanced technologies to serve key end markets such as automotive, industrial, IoT and communications infrastructure. Jobs will be created at ST’s plant in Kroll (the new manufacturing unit will require approximately 1,000 additional positions) as well as its ecosystem of partners, suppliers and other stakeholders.

This new manufacturing unit will deliver our ambitious revenue of $20 billion and beyond. Cooperation with GF will allow us to be faster, lower the risk threshold and strengthen the European FD-SOI ecosystem. We will be better equipped to meet the needs of our European and global customers as they move towards digitization and decarbonisation “, he said Jean-Marc CheryChairman and CEO of STMicroelectronics.

ST is currently transforming its production tooling. We are already in an unrivaled position with our 300mm wafer production facility in Kroll, which will be further strengthened by today’s announcement. We also continue to invest in our new 300mm wafer plant in Agrate near Milan, Italy, which will start operations in the first half of 2023 and is expected to reach full saturation by the end of 2025, as well as in our integrated manufacturing. silicon carbide and gallium nitride products – continues the presenter.

Our customers want broad access to the power of 22FDX technology, especially in the automotive and industrial sectors. The new manufacturing unit will include dedicated GF foundry capacity for our customers, who will thus have access to GF’s unique innovations and will be managed by the GF team present on site. This new joint manufacturing capacity expansion builds on the current ST Crolles facility infrastructure, allowing GF to accelerate its growth while benefiting from economies of scale to deliver additional capacity with high capital efficiency on our differentiated 22FDX platform, which has delivered over a billion chips. With today’s announcement, we expand GF’s presence in Europe’s dynamic technology ecosystem and strengthen our position as Europe’s leading semiconductor foundry. said Thomas Caulfield, CEO of GF. “ Our global presence allows GF to not only meet its customers’ capacity needs, but also ensure the security of their supply chain. These investments, made in partnership with the French government, together with long-term agreements with our clients, create the right business model for GF investments. “, he adds.

See the presentation of the Globalfoundries project