EU weighs deal with TSMC or Samsung to set up chip fab, according to Bloomberg.
Chips are currently used in all kinds of devices. From cell phones and computers to cars (where there is a major bottleneck right now). A factory in Europe would allow the production of chips from 10 nanometers downwards. We are currently going for 5-nanometer chips and with plans for 3-nanometer chips.
According to an official of the French Ministry of Finance, TSMC and Samsung are the two most likely subjects to participate in this project. Currently, both are the leaders in global chip manufacturing and virtually all major brands of electronic products are supplied by one of them. TSMC has indicated that the company “does not rule out any possibility, but there is no concrete plan at this time”.
At the moment, however, nothing has been finalized. There is no place for this chip factory in Europe, no partners are chosen, no date for the start of the project, and no certain confirmation of it. We will have to wait for the next few months to see if the European Union decides to move forward with a firm step on it.
The European Union’s plan to take the chip production market away from Southeast Asia is not unique. Other regions, such as the United States, China, and Japan, have also been committed in recent years to increasing local production. The aim is to diversify production and therefore be more prepared for unforeseen events and not be so dependent on one or two companies.
However, this is not so easy to achieve. It is not only a question of money, which is also a question of billions of investment required for such a breakthrough. It is also a question of logistics, resources, and time. Taiwan and in particular TSMC has evolved in this market intensively for decades, having some of the best tools and resources in the market globally to manufacture its chips. If the European Union wants to be at that level it is going to need a tremendous effort with huge investments.