The global pandemic resulted in several shortages of products around the world. With toilet paper and other bare essentials spearheading what would end up being a downward spiral of supply across multiple industries, the pandemic was, first and foremost a health crisis, but would also turn out to be a huge pain in the neck for global industry.

The automotive and motorcycle industries felt the blow particularly hard, with shortages affecting a multitude of components. From rubber for certain tire manufacturers, to ABS sensors, and yes, the notorious micro-chip shortage, several manufacturers would release statements surrounding their struggles to keep up with demand. Naturally, with a huge chunk of manufacturers relying on Asian producers—China, Japan, and South Korea—for their semiconductors, there’s no denying that bottlenecks in production have formed.

To address this, France, through STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries Inc., looks to setup its own production facility for semiconductors specific for the automotive and motorcycle industries. Through the initiative, France looks to reduce its dependence on Asian suppliers for crucial electronic components for its automotive sector.The new facility will be erected on the Crolles industrial site in Isère, which is already home to ST. The two businesses will work together to run the manufacturing facility, which will be used to produce 300-millimeter semiconductors.

The ability to produce 620,000 300-millimeter semiconductors annually is anticipated to be reached by 2026. Additionally, the facility will create a broad range of technologies, such as those based on FD-SOI, or Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator, which in particular offers reduced energy consumption with the easier integration of extra capabilities, as well as GlobalFoundries' FDX technology, a platform for process technology that is well-suited for effective single-chip integration of digital and analog signals.

Bosch Semiconductors

This expansion of the Crolles facility will be utilized specifically to service European consumers, followed by those from all over the world, in addition to enabling France to establish itself as the European leader in the industry. Additionally, this facility expansion helps Europe achieve its objective of doubling semiconductor output. The combined contribution of the government, ST, and GF will total 5.7 billion euros in investment. The two businesses also mention "significant financial support from the French State." With the addition of some 1,000 jobs, the Crolles site expansion should meanwhile reinvigorate the country's economy.

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