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European Commission Foresees $100-billion Plan for Private Chip Investment by 2030

Published: May 24, 2024
(Image: Semiconductor chips are seen on a printed circuit board in this illustration picture taken February 17, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo)

A European Commission official said on Wednesday, May 22, that the European Chips Act is on track to attract more than 100 billion euros ($108.41 billion) worth of private investment to the European semiconductor industry by 2030. 

Thomas Skordas was speaking at a conference in Antwerp, Belgium, about the future of the initiative. The plan to support the European domestic computer chip makers is the EU’s answer to similar programs in the United States, Japan and China.

Skordas, an official to the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology of the commission, said the European Chips Act has led to “promises for investments of the order of 100 billion euros to expand the manufacturing capacity within the EU by 2030.” 

The Act relies heavily on individual governments to invest their own money, with the Commission approving very little actual funding.

However, firms such as Intel and TSMC have announced plans to build plants in Germany at a cost of more than 30 billion euros this year.

Skordas said the commission expects to finalize funding for R&D pilot lines in four sub-sectors of the chip industry by September. This will include a 2.5 billion euro grant for developing extremely advanced chips in continental Europe.

The Commission is also arranging funding for a “European design platform” to give companies, academics and startups access to the software tools needed to design their own chips. 

“In July, we expect to open the call for the consortium that will be responsible for designing and developing this platform at the European level,” Skordas said.

Usually most advanced chipmakers design the chips, but then leave the manufacturing process to specialist companies such as TSMC, Samsung or Intel.

Reuters contributed to this report.