STMicro France sees no reason to take part in EU Chip Alliance

STMicro France sees no reason to take part in EU Chip Alliance

There has been an active effort taken by 22 EU member states to support local development and production of semiconductor ICs to reduce the blocs dependancy on foreign suppliers. The pandemic resulted in a big shortage and disruption in supply of various semiconductor ICs – which further cascaded production issues across the globe.

The European Commission is working tireless to focus on design and production of 20-10nm chips. The European Commission announced the alliance on processors and semiconductor technologies on Wednesday, along with one centered on industrial data, edge and cloud computing. Previously, the EC already put in place European partnerships on batteries, raw materials and hydrogen.

CEO Jean-Marc Chery of STMicroelectronics said his company won’t be joining the semiconductor alliance that’s being prepared by the European Commission. Talking to French news channel BFM Business, Chery called the initiative a positive development but stated that it bears no relevance for his company. “If it’s about advanced technologies, we don’t have any reason to participate. That’s marginal to our activities,” said Chery.

ST has rejected such a proposition before. Seven years ago EC Commissioner Neelie Kroes proposed the same targets. At that time all three big EU chip companies declined their support.

As they did seven years ago, the EU’s tech companies have recently urged the EU to provide financial support for the niche areas where they operate, rather than try to launch an effort to compete at the leading edge where they do not operate.

The materials provided about the semiconductor alliance don’t reveal what its goals are or who will participate. However, European Commissioner Thierry Breton told Bloomberg that he wants governments, companies and research institutes to join hands and focus on the design and production of 20-10nm chips. In parallel, the Commission is working on plans to get Europe back into leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing. Breton acknowledged that for realizing the latter ambition, working with partners companies would be best.

Europe’s tech leaders have poured scorn on EC Commissioner Thierry Breton’s scheme to try to operate at the leading edge:  “Wanting to build a factory for 2-nanometer chips in Europe is the same as saying you want to build a rocket to send people to the moon,” said ASML CEO Peter Wennink

The European Commission’s ambition is to double Europe’s market share in global chips and semiconductor production from 10% to 20% by 2030.

Categories: News