To fight chip scarcity, Bosch to take a position $296M to supply semiconductors – TechCrunch

Bosch is growing its beforehand acknowledged funding in semiconductor manufacturing to be able to keep on prime of the continued chip scarcity. The corporate is including a further $296 million, on prime of the $473 million Bosch already pledged to spend in 2022 final 12 months, to new manufacturing services.

Most of final 12 months’s capital was earmarked for Bosch’s new 300-millimeter wafer fabrication facility in Dresden, with about $57 million put aside for Reutlingen, close to Stuttgart, the place Bosch started manufacturing in December. This new funding will go nearly solely to Reutlingen to create new manufacturing area and a complete of 44,000 sq. meters of contemporary cleanroom area between now and 2025, a transfer the corporate is making in response to rising demand for semiconductors and micro electro-mechanical programs (MEMS) sensors in each the automotive and shopper electronics markets.

“Bosch is already a number one chip producer for automotive functions,” stated Markus Heyn, member of Bosch’s board of administration and chairman of the Mobility Options enterprise sector, in an announcement. “And it is a place we intend to consolidate.”

(Cleanrooms are specifically constructed and enclosed in order that issues like airborne particles, temperature, lighting, noise, air strain and different environmental elements could be tightly managed. Since Bosch’s semiconductors, like many others, are made from silicon carbide, the manufacturing course of requires absolute readability – silicon is present in sand and needs to be refined earlier than it may be used for manufacturing. That is an extremely exact course of that may be thrown off completely if even a tiny speck of mud have been to land on the chip on the incorrect time.)

“We’re systematically increasing our manufacturing capability for semiconductors in Reutlingen,” stated Dr. Stefan Hartung, chairman of the board of administration of Bosch, in an announcement. “This new funding is not going to solely strengthen our aggressive place, however may even profit our prospects and assist fight the disaster within the semiconductor provide chain.”

The Reutlingen wafer fabs will produce 6- and 8-inch wafers. 6-inch wafers aren’t in use as a lot as 8-inch or 12-inch at the moment, however the course of can cut back the manufacturing price of semiconductor merchandise like LEDs and sensors. There’s been a scarcity of particularly 8-inch wafers since 2019, and these have primarily been utilized in issues like sensors, MCUs and wi-fi communication chips. The enlargement of Reutlingen will serve the rising demand for MEMs within the automotive and shopper sectors and for silicon-carbide energy semiconductors, says Bosch.

Bosch’s Dresden facility will produce extra 12-inch silicon chips, that are used for manufacturing excessive efficiency merchandise like CPUs, logic ICs and recollections.

“AI strategies mixed with connectivity have helped us obtain steady, data-driven enchancment in manufacturing and thereby produce higher and higher chips,” stated Heyn. “This contains the event of software program to allow automated classification of defects. Bosch can be utilizing AI to boost supplies flows. With its excessive stage of automation, this state-of-the artwork manufacturing atmosphere in Reutlingen will safeguard the plant’s future and the roles of the individuals working there.”

Bosch can be planning to increase an present energy provide facility, setting up a further constructing for media provide programs. The brand new manufacturing space ought to launch operations in 2025.

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