Bosch to build new semiconductor fab in Dresden

June 15, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Automated driving requires more and more semiconductors. To satisfy the demand for future generations of increasingly autonomous vehicles, automotive supplier Bosch plans to invest €1 billion to build a fab in Dresden.

According to media releases, Bosch intends to manufacture sensors and chips for the related downstream signal and data processing in this fab. The news was spread by a Dresden local newspaper. A Bosch spokesperson declined to comment. "We do not confirm nor deny this information," he said, referring to a press conference that will be held in Berlin next Monday (June 19th). Meanwhile, industry association Silicon Saxony, a conglomeration of Dresden-based companies involved in chipmaking, issued a press release in which it welcomed the Bosch announcement.

Bosch is currently cranking up its development activities in the area of autonomous driving. In April, Bosch announced a strategic partnership with carmaker Daimler AG; together both companies plan to devise the sensing and data processing technologies required for level 4 and level 5 automated driving; first cars with this technology inside will appear on the streets around 2020.

Automated driving requires a broad range of sensors – cameras, radar, and laser scanners. For the latter, MEMS are used. Bosch develops and manufactures all of these technologies besides laser scanners; in MEMS the company claims to be the world’s market leader. Since several years, Bosch runs an R&D center in Dresden where it develops integrated circuits for MEMS signal processing.

The new fab will offer some 300 to 400 jobs, the report said. Bosch’s investment will be funded in part by the German government and the European Commission, the papers write. The exact location of the planned fab is subject to speculations. According to insiders, one of the option is a site between the Dresden airport and the Globalfoundry fab.

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