2nm 'Eurofab' talks today with TSMC, Intel and Samsung

April 30, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Intel, Samsung, TSMC in Brussels for 2nm 'Eurofab' talks
Intel, Samsung and TSMC are expected to be part of European Commission discussions today over a 2nm chip fab

Intel's CEO Pat Gelsinger and Maria Merced, European president of TSMC, are heading into discussions with the European Commission today. Samsung Electronics is also expected to take part around a leading edge 2nm fab.

The European Union wants to reverse the downward trend and see Europe making 20 percent of global chip output. It has also said it wants to return to leading edge chip manufacturing at 2nm. This is after spending about 30 years of European chip companies moving to fab-lite strategies and outsourcing their digital manufacturing to Asia.

Margrethe Vestage, the European Commission's executive vice president for the digital age, and Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, are expected to release details of the Commission's strategy to reverse decades of decline in semiconductor manufacturing.

It is notable that the Intel CEO has come to Europe for the talks. He is likely the most amenable to building a wafer fab with European funds, having boosted investment in its fab in Leixlip, Ireland. Meanwhile TSMC and Samsung, are likely to say no, preferring to spend in Taiwan and South Korea, respectively, and in the United States, which is the guarantor of their independence from China.

The European Commission is rumoured to be touting the vision of a joint venture or partnership with TSMC or Samsung to locate a wafer fab somewhere in France, in Dresden Germany, although elsewhere in Europe.

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