Dresden fab starts production of automotive chips

March 08, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Dresden fab starts production of automotive chips
Bosch has run the first 300mm production wafers through its €1bn Dresden fab ahead of the opening later this year

The Dresden fab is partly a high profile response to the current automotive chip shortage, with funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The company already operates a semiconductor fab in Reutlingen near Stuttgart. However the focus of the Dresden fab is on power devices and custom ASICs rather than the more complex automotive-qualified processors that are in short supply. Beig able to produce those devices to automotive quality in a new fab is more time consuming.

The process in the 300mm Dresden fab is entirely automated with 250 individual fabrication steps. In total the chips need 700 processing steps, including thinning to 60 microns thick, and this takes over ten weeks. Each 300mm wafer can produce 31,000 devices, and the parts are undergoing tests to qualify the process ready for the official opening in June 2021.

The first devices through the power fab are silicon FETs for automotive applications. The first production run of more complex power ASICs is planned for later this month. 

Chips for tomorrow’s mobility solutions and greater safety on our roads will soon be produced in Dresden. We plan to open our chip factory of the future before the year is out,” says Harald Kroeger, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch.

The fully automated production and real-time data exchange between the machines will make chip manufacturing in Dresden more  efficient, says the company. “Our new wafer fab sets standards in automation, digitalization, and connectivity.” The Dresden fab will employ up to 700 people to control and monitor production and maintain the machinery.


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