In an interview with the business newspaper Handelsblatt, the semiconductor manufacturer’s new Chief Production Officer, Rutger Wijburg, stated that the company would in future commission a new fab every two to three years. Previously, the rhythm for opening new plants was more like four to five years. The market situation now calls for an increase in the pace of investment, and it is also possible that Infineon will push ahead with several large construction projects in parallel in the future, Wijburg said.
The background to the decision is, among other things, the high capacity utilization of contract manufacturers, who now only accept orders with long delivery times. Another reason is the delivery times for machines for semiconductor production. Twelve-month delivery times are now normal, Wijburg told Handelsblatt, “but 18 months and longer are not uncommon either.”
In addition, the market environment is favorable, the semiconductor expert said. By the end of the decade, market observers such as the consulting firm McKinsey expect annual sales growth of 8 percent in the semiconductor industry. The business with chips for cars is expected to grow disproportionately.
Wijburg recently succeeded Jochen Hanebeck in the position of Chief Production Officer, who in turn succeeded Reinhard Ploss in the CEO’s chair. Before joining Infineon in January 2018, Wijburg was SVP and General Manager for Globalfoundries in Dresden.