Spain to invest € 12.3 billion in semiconductor and microchip production, facing major deficit problems to become a “benchmark”

The Spanish government on Tuesday announced a 12.3 billion investment plan to transform the country into a major producer of microchips and help reduce the dependence of Spain and the European Union on other suppliers. The announcement came in Madrid when Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was scheduled to meet with tech company executives at a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to explain the plan and make new investments.

With this initiative, funded by the post-Covid-19 European Recovery Plan, Spain has embarked on a “long-distance race to become a reference in the semiconductor industry,” Pedro Sanchez assured on Twitter. The goal is to “create a strong ecosystem for the future of computing in Europe and attract significant investment,” he added.

Speaking in Madrid, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Nadia Calvino said the goal of the five-year plan was to enable Spain to cover all areas of microchip design and production, which is now considered essential for all sectors of modern industry.

“The goal is to greatly develop the design and manufacturing capabilities of the Spanish microelectronics and semiconductor industries, covering the entire value chain, from design to chip production,” explained Nadia Calvino.

In detail: 9.3 billion euros will be allocated for the production capacity of the country for the development of advanced (below 5 nanometers) and mid-range (above 5 nanometers) semiconductors; 1.1 billion euros will be devoted to research and development; 1.3 billion euros will finance the design; A fund of 200 million euros will finance start-ups and scale-ups on semiconductors.

“We want Spain to play a relevant role in this technological field, the role it deserves, and the European funding provides a tremendous opportunity,” he said.

A global shortage of computer chips has made it difficult for consumers to access cars, computers and other modern necessities. The European Union has announced a $ 48 billion plan to become a major producer of semiconductors, reflecting US President Joe Biden’s $ 52 billion push to invest in a domestic chip manufacturing sector to ensure increased production nationally.

He said the plan was one of the Spanish government’s most ambitious plans to revive the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic and would have an impact on other sectors.

The project aims to weaken the European Union’s position in microchip production, which Calvino accounts for about 10% of the world’s total. He said this has created a lot of reliance on a few big producers, such as Taiwan, the United States, South Korea, Japan and China.

Calvino added that “Ukraine’s war power strengthens strategic autonomy in terms of energy, technology, food production as well as cyber security.”

Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calvino

American initiative

During his State of the Union address in March 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden praised Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who announced a month before the বিনিয়োগ 20 billion investment in two new chip manufacturing facilities or fabs, the company would build just west of Columbus. , Ohio. Intel plans to spend $ 100 billion over the next decade to build Ohio’s “megafab,” including a total of eight fabs, but the pace of that investment will depend on U.S. grants, Gelsinger said.

“Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who is here tonight, has told me that they are ready to increase their investment from $ 20 billion to $ 100 billion. This will be one of the largest manufacturing investments in American history,” Biden said. “And what they’re waiting for is for you to pass this bill. Send it to my office. I’ll sign.”

In a letter to House of Representatives and Senate leaders in May 2021, Somiconductors of the American Coalition (SIAC – Apple Inc., Microsoft Corporation, and Alphabet Inc., among others, formed a lobbying group for some of the world’s largest chip buyers. Subsidies) said Congress had already promised to protect the domestic semiconductor supply chain by enacting the Chips Act for the United States, but that the program needed additional funding.

The SIAC said in a letter that “long-term, strong chips for US financing will help America build the additional capacity needed for more resilient supply chains so that we have critical technology in place when we need them.” “Congress-funded manufacturing incentives should focus on filling key gaps in our national semiconductor ecosystem and expanding the full spectrum of semiconductor technology.”

Chips for U.S. law approves federal incentives to promote semiconductor manufacturing and federal investment in semiconductor research. The SIAC said it had agreed with President Joe Biden’s proposal to support these programs with $ 50 billion in funding to keep pace with incentive programs offered in other countries.

“Governments around the world are providing significant grants to attract new semiconductor production and research facilities,” the industry group said. “As a result, building and operating a manufacturing facility in the United States is 20-40% more expensive than abroad.”

The Chips Act for America was signed into law in 2021 under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The lobby, founded in 1977, represents the United States semiconductor industry:

“The share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the United States has dropped from 37% in 1990 to 12% today, primarily because governments in other countries have ambitiously invested in chip-making incentives and the US government has not done so.” Other countries have dramatically increased their investment in research. “

“By enacting the Chips for America Act in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in fiscal year 2021, Congress recognizes the important role that the U.S. semiconductor industry plays in the future of the United States. – and formulate an investment tax credit – to strengthen global industry leadership. ‘America in chip technology is coming for years’

European initiative

In February, the European Union introduced the “EU Chips Act”, a বিল 43 billion plan aimed at restoring autonomy to the region. It is vital that the EU reduces its dependence on imports from Asia and elsewhere and reduces geopolitical risks. Future European industries should be able to benefit from sophisticated, European-based chip production capacity. In addition, the European Commission believes that local semiconductor production capacity will meet Europe’s end-market demand by the end of the decade.

Thus, the economy will be less open to supply chain disruption, but it will be able to fully participate in future developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous industrial systems, where sophisticated innovations in semiconductors will play a role. An important role. In fact, every industry that uses AI systems will need advanced semiconductors. The EU therefore wants to take part in this development to stay relevant. The EU’s ambitions follow a similar 52 52 billion plan unveiled by the United States in 2021.

The EU wants its future chip law to rival the US. EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said EU plans would be “equal” to the মার্কিন 52 billion recently announced by the US to fund its own chip supply chain. However, according to those familiar with the matter, skepticism is growing about how existing funds can be made available to member states and European lawmakers. The commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU Chips Act was expected to require 42 billion in investment.

In France, this issue is specifically mentioned in “France 2030”. The plan, presented by Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, aims to strengthen France in the industrial and necessary fields. “We’re not going to be leaders in all areas,” said Emmanuel Macron. .

An envelope of 30 billion euros has been released to the country to re-industrialize, innovate and take this lead in certain areas. The ultimate goal is to reduce the dependence of France and Europe on other world powers.

One of the objectives of this plan is material and especially semiconductor. This issue now poses a huge challenge to France and more generally to Europe: “Europe produces more than 10% of the world’s electronics,” recalls Emmanuel Macron. The goal is to double electronic production by 2030 and create a roadmap for designing small electronic chips.

Overall, investment plans in this sector are growing exponentially and manufacturers themselves are spending billions to bolster their production capacity.

Source: Spanish government Twitter, Pedro Sanchez

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