MUNICH, Germany Infineon has inaugurated an automotive semiconductor research center in Villach (Austria). The center merges the activities of hitherto spatially scattered engineers and scientists. It is well possible that this could be Infineon's last major R&D investment in Austria for some time.
The company has invested 11.5 million (about $17.8 million) in the center which currently employs 225 engineers and scientists. In the medium term, Infineon plans to create another 150 jobs for highly qualified experts at that location. Topically, the research center focuses on automotive power semiconductors and automotive semiconductor quality management.
The expansion of Infineon's R&D activities in Villach conflicts to some extend with recent statements of the company's spokesman of the management board, Peter Bauer. In a conference call with analysts he had explained that the company's future R&D activities in Germany and Austria will be capped, while he plans to expand the respective activities in Asia and Eastern Europe.
However, the decision for the investment at hand has been made years ago, explained an Infineon spokesperson. In addition, Bauer's statement does not necessarily mean that the company won't invest at all in Western European R&D, he said. "It just means that we expect the center of gravity of our R&D activities will shift to the east."