German tech giant Bosch plans to enhance European semiconductor chip production in the next few years by investing billions of euros.
Bosch is reportedly planning to invest up to 3 billion euros ($3.01 billion) for semiconductor chip production by 2026. The company’s new drive also includes establishing two new development centers and expanding a wafer factory in Dresden. For the wafer plant, Bosch looks to add an additional 3,000 square meters of clean-room space.
Bosch explains that it intends to fork out 170 million euros towards the new development centers in Reutlingen and Dresden. In addition, the German multinational engineering and tech company plans to spend 250 million euros on expanding its billion-euro Dresden site. The Dresden site has been in operation for a little over a year now after opening back in June 2021.
Bosch Seeks Assistive Funding from IPCEI Towards Chip Production Agenda
In order to see its chip-production funding plans come to fruition, Bosch has applied for financial assistance from the European Union. The leading global auto supplier is specifically eyeing funding support from the Union’s Important Projects of Common European Interests (IPCEI) budget. According to Bosch, such an investment would boost the production of chips in Europe to 20% of global output by 2030. The upswing would be a considerable jump in production rate from the current 8%.
Speaking on Bosch’s intention, board of management chairman Dr. Stefan Hartung explains:
“Microelectronics is the future and is vital to the success of all areas of Bosch business. With it, we hold a master key to tomorrow’s mobility, the internet of things, and to what we at Bosch call technology that is ‘Invented for life’.”
Speaking at a Bosch Tech Day 2022 event in Dresden, Hartung also added:
“We’re gearing up for continued growth in demand for semiconductors – also for the benefit of our customers. For us, these miniature components mean big business.”
Bosch’s Semiconductor Strides & Outlook
Over the last few years, Bosch has taken notable steps toward further scaling up its semiconductor business. The wafer fab in Dresden is the most significant testament to this and represents the company’s single largest investment.
As part of its overarching semiconductor agenda, Bosch has also been systematically expanding its dedicated center in Reutlingen. The engineering and tech powerhouse plans to invest around 400 million euros to expand the plant’s manufacturing capacity. Furthermore, it is also working towards converting existing factory space into new clean-room space.
This latest foray into microelectronics provides Bosch with opportunities for new areas of innovation. As Hartung explains, assuming the vanguard of innovation begins with the smallest electronic components- semiconductor chips.
As part of its production goals, Bosch aims to radicalize the functionality of its semiconductor products. These include incorporating technologically-advanced radar-sensing chips on self-driving vehicles that enhance the overall driving experience. In addition to producing smarter chips, Bosch intends to make them smaller and cheaper to produce.
Last year, Bosch and Fetch.ai launched a fully-functional blockchain to transform the existing digital ecosystem and infuse artificial intelligence with blockchain technology.