Recently, it has been published FabCat manifest. Said manifesto is signed by five Catalan universities, the chambers of Girona and Barcelona, the Tecnoateneu de Vilablareix (Girona) and the Eurecat centre. A cost for these facilities is estimated at 22,000 million euros, of which 10% would be contributed by the State of Spain.
Catalonia wants to have its own chip factory
According to the document, the cost of having a production plant would have a minimum cost of 15,000 million euros. The objective of investment could rise to 22 billion during the four-year execution period. The document establishes that the State of Spain would assume 10% budgeted, which would be 2,200 million euros. Besides, the Generalitat would contribute some 500 million that they would allocate to the adaptation of communications and infrastructures.
They emphasize that it would be key to generate an institution of self-government to find the industrial land that can accommodate this plant. It is indicated that it would be a 36-hectare plot of land required. Currently, there are conversions with Sant Esteve Sesrovires (Barcelona) and the Vailamalla Industrial Estate (Girona) to establish this new factory.
Within the manifest it is highlighted that the factory would initially be destined to manufacture chips based on the 22-nanometer node. A somewhat remote process with the advanced processes of Intel, TSMC or Samsung. Later, it would be improved to manufacture chips in more advanced nodes.
These two locations are the most suitable due to the availability of industrial land. They also have good energy supply, logistical connections and residential capabilities.
Estimates are that this new plant generate about 2,000 direct jobsyes Additionally, it is estimated that it could generate about 40,000 indirect jobs. And it is that this factory would need related industries for maintenance, consumables such as industrial gases and robotics, and waste management.
But all this has a big problem, and that is that the bulk of the financing should be in charge of a private partner. The document speaks of contacting 29 companies with European roots in the sector such as Bosch, Intel, Texas Instruments, ABB or GlobalFoundries, among others. The need to contact other companies without a presence in the European Union, such as TSMC, Samsung, Micron or Kioxia, among others, is also highlighted.
European disaster in semiconductor manufacturing management
We have to point out that in the European Union in the 1990s, 44% of the semiconductors used in the whole were manufactured in the old continent. Currently, we are talking about less than 10% due to abandonment. More than 80% of the components are manufactured in Asia.
As a curious fact to say that the largest manufacturer of chip manufacturing machines is produced in the Netherlands by ASML. Transporting these machines can take a year or more, including disassembly, shipping and reassembly at the destination. Having factories in the European Union should significantly reduce the delivery times of these machines.