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Spain’s PM courts Samsung over chip fab, says report

Business news |
By Peter Clarke


Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Jae-yong in Seoul today (Friday November 18) and asked Samsung to invest in Spanish chip manufacturing, according to The Korea Times.

On the previous day PM Sanchez visited Samsung’s wafer fab campus at Pyeongtaek. That visit was set up to discuss cooperation in the chip industry and included a meeting with Choi Si-young, president of Samsung Foundry, the report said.

The most obvious way that Samsung could support Spanish aspirations is to agree to build a wafer fab in Spain, although it is not clear that there would be sufficient local demand to support a leading-edge fab there.

Semiconductors are being seen as key to maintaining independence in an increasingly technical society. The European Commission has set itself the target of doubling Europan chip manufacturing global market share to 20 percent. In practical terms however, European chip making share is down in the low single-digit percentage.

In May 2022 the Spanish government said it plans to spend €12.25 billion (about US$12.25 billion) on the semiconductor sector by 2027 in support of domestic chip manufacturing at both above and below 5nm. Reportedly Spain has €9.3 billion earmarked to support the building of manufacturing plants.

While the world’s two most advanced chip manufacturers – Samsung and TSMC – have shown they are prepared to invest in the United States, both have proved reluctant to go to some other geographical regions including India and Europe.

TSMC is reportedly in negotiations about a potential investment in Dresden, Germany, and has agreed to a joint venture fab in Japan with Sony and Denso.

Related links and articles:

Spain wants to develop 5nm chip manufacturing – report

Denso joins TSMC’s Japanese wafer fab club

TSMC in talks with Singapore over manufacturing

TSMC opens wafer fab talks with German government

India lobbies Intel, Globalfoundries, TSMC for fabs

Report: Pakistan asks China to help with chip ambitions


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