The semiconductor industry in Europe: How to manage the recovery?


1 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

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The semiconductor industry

in Europe:

How to manage the recovery?

The main European companies suffered more

from the 2009 crisis than their competitors

Main locations of the main companies in Europe


ST Micro

ST Ericsson



Infineon (Altis)


Netherlands & Belgium:


ST Micro







Global Foundries


X Fab





The European and Japanese IDMs have been the ones which suffered the most
from the crisis (in terms of sales, results and employment

even if the layoffs were
equally numerous in the US)

What was missing ?

Strong competitive positions being focused on specific market

Innovative products arriving in time on the market and aligned with the market
expectrations (one exception is clearly the Infineon mobile phone chipsets)

Why ?

The European industry faced the crisis while it was engaged in a massive
restructuring (NXP, Infineon ,ST). This restructuring was largely initiated by the
financial strategies they entered into these past couple of years. The
companies were focused on their reorganizations and layoffs, rather than on
their markets. They became late on R&D and manufacturing. They were not
competitive when the market slowdown.

These Europeans companies were weakened
by their purely financial strategies

Recent fab/line closures

Dresden: Qimonda

East Killbride: Atmel Freescale

Toulouse: Freescale

Hambourg: NXP

Boeblingen: NXP

Nimegen: NXP

Rennes: ST

Rousset 1: ST

Munchen Perlach: Infineon

Malta: ST

Agrate: ST

Will the crisis slow down or accelerate

the transformation of the European industry?

The consensus on the European industry seems still centered around 2 or 3 main locations
where companies establish clusters with the support of massive public aid programs


Crolles: CEA/LETI and ST Microelectronics, Soitec

Dresden: Global foundries, Infineon, Franhofer Institute ,XFab, Toppan…

Louvain : NXP, IEMC

Even those centers are not immune from plant closures (Qimonda in Dresden)

All the other locations seem to be subject to layoffs and plant closures, from which we
already see the rise of a new type of European companies :

They are built around Business plans such as small specialized foundries (mixed
signal), as Lfoundry or TSH taking the lead from companies like X Fab

There are Fabless companies (R&D) built around laid off teams.

is there a rise in the number of European fabless

The global cuts in investments, in R&D and the growing outsourcing of R&D towards Asia
seems to lead to the emergence of these small local actors.

Recent fab sales/ Fabs for sale

Caen: NXP


Heilbronn: Atmel


Rousset: Atmel


Catania: Numonyx: Solar Panels

Landshut: Renesas


Vila do Conde: Qimonda

Corbeil: Altis

Nantes: Atmel


The semiconductor industry is the basis of the

whole electronic and traditional industry chain

Semiconductor industry is strategic for Europe. It irrigates products and innovation in
key sectors of European economy where the continent has strong positions :


Defense and Security



Energy and Electricity


It should be remembered that electronics and integrated circuits are one of the most
important components to be used in the regulation of energy consumption with regards
to a low carbon economy

We need to insure the survival and the development of the industry in Europe

Will the crisis slow down or accelerate

the transformation of the European industry?

Consolidate the European industry around two policies :

1) Create a European “Champion”

? (ST+ Infineon + NXP ?) . This consolidation would be
pushed by the public authorities which would give massive aids to these actors.


Keep the know
how and the technologies in Europe and insure their diffusion
towards traditional industrial sectors

Drive the R&D towards technologies and products which will be in favour of public
and citizen interest (Security, health, environment). Use the synergies to develop
not to lay off

Avoid the disasters caused by the excess of the finance (NXP, Freescale..)

2) Facilitate the emergence and the survival of small actors which need time to strengthen
business models around local specialized services. The public aids must be reoriented
towards these small companies around clusters and help them to secure their


Create an Ecosystem around the main industry players to fuel the technological innovations :

Maintain local industry

Drive Public aids to these local companies