Rumor: EU wants to become more chip-independent with alliance NXP, Infineon and ASML

The European Union would consider forming a semiconductor alliance with the aim of becoming less dependent on Asian and American chip manufacturers. The alliance should include STMicroelectronics, NXP, Infineon and ASML.

According to four Reuters sources, the European Union is considering including the plans in an Important Project of Common European Interest. This makes it easier for Member States to inject money into the project and it offers benefits for companies to work together. The EU previously launched an IPCEI for microelectronics, involving 29 tech companies such as GlobalFoundries, Carl Zeiss and STMicroelectronics.

Plans are said to be at an early stage and further details are unknown. They appear to complement the EU’s target announced in March to double European semiconductor production to 20% of global production by 2030.

To achieve this goal, the EU wants a major chip company to build a factory on European territory. European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton will speak on Friday with Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger about this aim, and talks with TSMC Europe president Marcia Marced will also follow. Reuters has spoken to several European officials who criticize this plan, because it would make the EU dependent on parties from outside Europe.

The chip factory that the EU wants on its territory should become a 2nm facility. Intel already has a chip factory in Europe, in Leixlip, Ireland. In 2019, Intel received permission to expand that factory significantly. TSMC has so far been skeptical about the feasibility of the European chips drive. A Taiwanese minister joined that position this week, according to Reuters, saying that TSMC is targeting Taiwan when it comes to advanced chip technology. TSMC also has chip factories in China and the US. It is also expanding in the US.