Europe plans a Chips Act to boost semiconductor sovereignty – TechCrunch

Regional semiconductors will use EU legislation to push for more resilience and sovereignty in supply chains.

The president of the bloc today moved the forthcoming ‘European Chips Act’ in the context of the Union speech. Ursula von der Ley suggested that gaining more autonomy in chipmaking is now a key component of the EU’s ultra-digital strategy.

She noted the global shortage of semiconductors, which has led to a slow decline in production in a range of products that rely on chips to run data processing – from cars and trains to smartphones and other consumer electronics – causing EU legislators to worry about European capacity in the region.

“There’s no digital without chips,” von der Leyen said. “When we speak, despite growing demand due to the shortage of semiconductors આ entire production lines are already operating at low speeds.

“But while global demand has exploded, Europe’s share of the entire value chain, from design to production capacity, has shrunk. We rely on sophisticated chips manufactured in Asia. So this is not just a matter of our competitiveness. This is also a matter of tech sovereignty. So let’s focus all our attention on that. ”

The Chips Act aims to bring together the European Union’s semiconductor research, design and testing capabilities, he said, helping to increase the bloc’s self-reliance to “coordinate” between EU and national investments in the sector.

“The aim is to jointly create a state-of-the-art European chip ecosystem, including manufacturing. It ensures the security of our supplies and develops new markets for European technology.

The president of the European Union fulfilled his ambition to increase European chip capability as a “daunting task” but liked the mission the bloc did with its Galileo satellite navigation system two decades ago.

“Today European satellites provide navigation systems for more than 2 billion smartphones worldwide. We are world leaders. So let’s be bold again, this time with a semiconductor. ”

In follow-up comments, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton put a little more meat on the bones of the legislature’s plan કહ્યું saying the commission wants to integrate member state efforts into a “consistent” Pan-EU semiconductor strategy and even create a structure. Structure “to avoid the race of national public subsidies that divide the single market”.

Its aim will be to “set the conditions for the protection of European interests and to place Europe firmly in the global geopolitical landscape,” he added.

For Breton, the Chip Act will include three elements: first, a semiconductor research strategy that aims to build on the work being done by organizations such as IMEC in Belgium, LETI / CEA in France, and Fraunhofer in Germany.

“By building on the existing research partnership (KDT joint venture), we need to move our game forward, and develop a strategy to take Europe’s research ambitions to the next level while maintaining our strategic interests,” he noted.

The second component will be a collective plan to increase European chipmaking capacity.

He said the proposed legislation aims to support chip supply chain monitoring and resilience in design, manufacturing, packaging, equipment and suppliers (e.g. manufacturers of wafers).

The goal is to support the development of European “mega fabs” that are capable of producing the most advanced (2nm and below) and high volumes of energy-efficient semiconductors.

However the EU does not plan for the future when it can make all the chips it needs.

The last board of the European Chip Act will determine a framework for international cooperation and partnership.

“The idea here is not to produce everything yourself in Europe. In addition to making our domestic production more resilient, we need to develop strategies to diversify our supply chain to reduce over-reliance on a single country or region. “And while the European Union aims to be a top global destination for foreign investment and we welcome foreign investment through the European Chips Act to help increase our production capacity, especially in high-end technology, we will also set the right conditions for Europe to be maintained. Security of supply. “

“The United States is now discussing large-scale investment under the American Chips Act, which is designed to finance the construction of the American Research Center and help open state-of-the-art manufacturing plants. The objective is clear: to increase the resilience of US semiconductor supply chains, “he added.

“Taiwan has its own position to ensure its priority on semiconductor manufacturing. China is also trying to close the technological gap as it is limited by export control regulations to avoid technological transfers. Europe cannot and will not lag behind. ”

In additional documents released today, the EU said the Chips Act will build on other digital initiatives already presented by the Von der Leyen Commission – such as “gatekeeper” measures to accommodate the power of Internet giants and increase platform liability (Digital Market Act) and Digit. Services Act); Regulate high-risk applications under the AI ​​(Artificial Intelligence Act); dis online confront misinformation (through augmented code of practice); And increasing investment in regional digital infrastructure and skills.

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