Infineon to invest 1.6 billion euros in new chip factory in Austria

By Murielle Gonzalez | Published: 18-May-2018

Tech giant to build a fully automated chip factory for manufacturing 300-millimetre thin wafers in Villach

German tech company Infineon Technologies has announced plans to build a new factory for power semiconductors. A market and technology leader in this segment, Infineon said the investment plan will thereby create the foundation for long-term, profitable growth.

The project will see the construction of a fully automated chip factory for manufacturing 300-millimetre thin wafers at the Villach location in Austria alongside the existing production facility. Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Dr Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon, and Dr Sabine Herlitschka, CEO of Infineon Austria, presented the project in Vienna.

Investments totalling around €1.6 billion are planned over six years. Some 400 new jobs, especially highly qualified roles, will be created by the new, highly efficient factory.

Construction is scheduled to start in the first half of 2019 and production is expected to commence at the start of 2021.

The additional sales potential of the new factory, given full capacity utilisation, is put at around €1.8 billion a year.

Facts about the new chip factory in Villach

  • Start of construction: first half of 2019
  • Scheduled start of production: beginning of 2021
  • Total building area: 60,000 sq m (approx.)
  • Volume of investment (building, cleanroom technology, production plant and equipment): €1.6 billion (approx.)
  • Investment period: six years
  • Employees: 400 highly qualified jobs (approx.)

Plan for growth

“Global demand for power semiconductors is soaring. As the market and technology leader, Infineon is particularly sought-after by customers and is even growing more strongly than the market,” said Dr Reinhard Ploss.

Ploss said that growth is underpinned by global megatrends such as climate change, demographic change and increasing digitization. “Electric vehicles, connected and battery-powered devices, data centres or power generation from renewable sources require efficient and reliable power semiconductors. We recognised that trend early on and so are rapidly expanding production capacities for 300-millimetre technology at our Dresden location.”

The new facility at Villach will help Infineon cater for the growing demand that its customers anticipate, and continue on the company’s path to success in the coming decade.

Wafer processing at Infineon

Wafer processing at Infineon

“Backed by the unique expertise we have built at our locations in Europe, we as a global company can strengthen our position on the world market long term,” Ploss added.

Commenting on the investment, Dr Sabine Herlitschka, CEO of Infineon Technologies Austria, said: “This major investment is also a milestone for Infineon Austria economically, technologically and socially and an important step in securing the future of our high-tech site in Villach.

"In the fiercely competitive semiconductor industry, the new production facility sends an important signal: with the excellent know-how of our employees and our leading technologies, we are leveraging the opportunities offered by digitization and are globally competitive as a high-wage region – now and moving ahead.”

Manufacturing power

Villach is the group’s competence centre for power semiconductors and has long been an important site for innovation in Infineon’s production network.

Manufacturing of power semiconductors on 300-millimetre thin wafers was developed here and then expanded into fully automated high-volume production at the Dresden location over the past years.

Thanks to the larger diameter of the wafers, this technology delivers significant gains in productivity and reduces working capital. Dresden is Infineon’s largest site for wafer processing (frontend) and 300-millimetre production capacities there are expected to be fully utilized by 2021.

The visualization shows Infineon’s new factory for power semiconductors at the Villach location in Austria

The visualization shows Infineon’s new factory for power semiconductors at the Villach location in Austria

Infineon will apply the automation and digitisation concepts from Dresden at the new Villach factory and develop them together with the two locations in order to increase productivity and ensure synergies in relation to systems and processes at both.

These power-saving chips control the flow of electricity in a wide range of applications, such as electric vehicles, trains, wind and solar farms, and power supply units for mobile phones, notebooks and data centres.

The factors driving growing demand for power-saving chips are robust and sustained. With its planned investments in additional production capacities, Infineon says it is "helping to make life easier, safer and greener".

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