Infineon Technologies has announced it has officially opened its high-tech chip factory for power electronics on 300-millimeter thin wafers at its Villach site in Austria under the motto “Ready for Mission Future.” At 1.6 billion euros, the investment made by the semiconductor group represents one of the largest such projects in the microelectronics sector in Europe. The company says its Villach site is one of the world’s most modern fabs. It was opened by Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss, Infineon Austria CEO Sabine Herlitschka along with EU Commissioner Thierry Breton and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
The opening comes amid sustained high demand for microelectronics.
“The new fab is a milestone for Infineon, and its opening is very good news for our customers,” Ploss said. “The timing to create new capacity in Europe could not be better, given the growing global demand for power semiconductors. The last few months have clearly shown how essential microelectronics are in virtually every area of life. Given the accelerated pace of digitalization and electrification, we expect demand for power semiconductors to continue to grow in the coming years. The additional capacities will help us serve our customers worldwide even better, including long term.”
First products shipped
After three years of preparation and construction, the factory was commissioned at the beginning of August, three months ahead of schedule. The company said the first wafers would be leaving the Villach plant the same week as the opening (week ending 19 September 2021). In the first stage of expansion, the chips will primarily be used to meet demand from the automotive industry, data centres and renewable energy generation of solar and wind power. On the group level, the new factory will give Infineon additional sales potential of around two billion euros per year.
The semiconductors produced in Villach will be used in numerous applications. As a result, the new factory will enable Infineon to serve the growing market for power semiconductors in electric cars, data centres as well as solar and wind energy. Arithmetically speaking, the annual capacity planned for industrial semiconductors is sufficient to equip solar systems producing a total of around 1,500 TWh of electricity – roughly three times the annual power consumption in Germany.