"Continual anti-IMEC sentiment deflects Europe from the real
competition," said Bryant who also argued in the report that IMEC's
leading global position in semiconductors meant that it and not CEA-Leti
should be entrusted with European research subsidies for chips.
That anti-IMEC sentiment does not come from the European Commission. IMEC has worked well with the European Commission for many years and that, together with the European Commission's attempts to help the continent maintain manufacturing, is causing friction with other interests, said Bryant.
European Commission sees the technology and ability to manufacture
chips on 450-mm wafers as a key enabling technology for the continent. However,
because of the expense of R&D and capital equipment,
STMicroelectronics and Infineon now outsource leading-edge manufacturing
and have little interest in 450-mm wafers and instead lobby for support in line
with their "More-than-Moore" interests.
For example, STMicroelectronics has been pressing for money from the European Union to help it upgrade 200-mm wafer fabs so that they can make chips on 300-mm diameter wafers, Bryant said.
"We are getting truly
fed up hearing that European funded R&D is being 'stolen' by
overseas companies and that funding should be restricted to only that
which directly benefits Europe's big three chip firms," said Bryant in
"Regrettably STMicroelectronics, NXP and
Infineon are now no longer tier-1 companies," Bryant said on a slide of his presentation before going
on to make the argument that the European Commission and other public
authorities should support leading-edge European companies in
semiconductor equipment such as ASML, and in intellectual property such
Related links and articles:
"European report considers 450-mm More-than-Moore fab"??? This makes no sense at all. More Moore requires 450-mm, perhaps. More-than-Moore clearly can be done on 300-mm wafers, if not on 200-mm, it is not the size of the wafer that matter here! Kris
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Regardless of who is "right", I have one pertinent question:
Why should the Flemish taxpayer subsidize 450mm R&D at Imec, as they are doing, when no European semiconductor company is interested in this?
It makes no sense. In Flanders, the government seems to think that innovation has been accomplished as soon as the subsidies are distributed (preferably to Imec). The world must think that we are either too rich or crazy.
If Intel, TSMC or Samsung wants it, let them pay. ASML is showing the wise way.
''...STMicroelectronics has been pressing for money from the European Union to help it upgrade 200-mm wafer fabs so that they can make chips on 300-mm diameter wafers, Bryant said...''
As an employee of STM, I find it surprising. Can anyone address me to the sources for such a statement ?
Second, looking at the original report, again issued by Mr. Bryant's firm, "European report considers 450-mm More-than-Moore fab", I used to consider 450mm associated to More-Moore, rather than More-than-Moore. Too simplistic? Could anybody show me already a fully 300mm More-than-Moore, loaded fab, to start with? In my (little) knowledge, TI is the only declared owner of a 300mm ''analog'' fab, supposed closer to my personal definition of a wannabe More-than-Moore fab.
Third, any article depicting any strategic choice as fruit of some 'sentiment' against someone else may be perceived as the result of the 'sentiment' of the writer vs. those that don't share his/her own vision. Bringing the debate to the realm of personal opinions is not what people would expect from an accounted consulting company.
Fourth: ASML business is founded on More-Moore, and 450nm fabs are a part of it. IMEC, whose dutch labs are at less than 15 min car drive from ASML HQ, has historically leveraged on its proximity with the litho giant. May anyone infer that interests for ASML and for IMEC may be somewhat entangled? The bigger customers for ASML are INTEL, SAMSUNG or TSMC, just to name a few, so european manufacturers may just wish to stay more focused on actual More-than-Moore (like MEMS) opportunities rather than venture in astronomical efforts for below 22nm technologies. ST or Infineon don't have enormous asset in 300mm, why should they invest now in 450? This is my (simplistic) Present Vision. For Future Visions, Mr. Bryant will take care.
"Regrettably STMicroelectronics, NXP and Infineon are now no longer tier-1 companies"
What a short-sighted statement. All 3 companies are tier-1 companies - in MEMS. Just because they may not be at the bleeding-edge of memory or logic manufacturing doesn't mean that they aren't leaders. The semiconductor industry has evolved - it's more than just about memory and logic these days.
Intel has reportedly said it will ONLY by 450-mm equipment from companies that are engaged with Global 450 Consortium and putting equipment into Albany for trial.
I would expect companies such as Tokyo Electron to be engaged.