Spain wants to develop 5nm chip manufacturing – report
Spain’s government has said it plans to spend €12.25 billion (about US$13 billion) on the semiconductor sector by 2027 and support domestic chip manufacturing at both above and below 5nm, according to Reuters report.
The plan was announced by Spain’s economy minister Nadia Calvino speaking on Tuesday May 24 in a press conference after the weekly cabinet meeting.
Spain will be spending mostly European Union pandemic relief funds with €9.3 billion earmarked to support the building of manufacturing plants, the report said. Reuters added that the government said the money would finance production capacity at process nodes below 5nm as well as above 5nm.
“The aim is to comprehensively develop the design and production capacities of the Spanish microelectronics and semiconductor industry, covering the entire value chain from design to chip manufacturing,” Reuters quoted Calvino saying.
Spain motivated by idle factories
Spain is motivated to get involved in the chip sector because a worldwide shortage of components has forced manufacturers in multiple sectors to slow down their own output. In Spain this has impacted car makers Volkswagen and Renault who have idled vehicle production lines and put workers on short time working.
However, only Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. are capable of manufacturing chips with geometries at 5nm and below. Unless Spain can attract one or other of these companies to inwardly invest it seems unlikely the country has enough money or time to succeed at the leading edge.
Besides subsidizing manufacturing, the funds will include €1.1 billion to support R&D and €1.3 billion for chip design. It will also support Spanish companies in strategic projects developed at the European level and will create a €200 million venture capital fund to finance startups and scaleups in the Spanish semiconductor sector.
“We want Spain to play a relevant role in this technological field, the role it deserves, and the European funds offer an extraordinary opportunity,” Reuters quoted Calvino saying.
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