EU countries on Wednesday agreed to a 45 billion euro (US$46.8 billion) plan to fund the production of chips, putting the 27-country bloc a step closer to its goal of reducing its reliance on US and Asian manufacturers.
EU envoys unanimously backed an amended version of the European Commission’s proposal, said the Czech Republic, which holds the rotating presidency of the commission.
EU ministers are expected to meet on Thursday next week to rubber stamp the chip plan that would still need to be debated with the European Parliament next year before it could become law.
The EU executive, which is hoping state subsidies would help the bloc achieve a 20 percent share of global chip capacity by 2030, came up with its proposal after a global chip shortage and supply chain bottlenecks hit automakers, healthcare providers and telecommunications operators.
Europe’s share of chip production stands at 8 percent, down from 24 percent in 2000.
Changes agreed by the envoys to the commission’s proposal included allowing state subsidies for a broader range of chips — and not just the most advanced ones.
The subsidies would cover chips that bring innovation in computing power, energy efficiency, environmental gains and artificial intelligence.
EU countries sought to curb the powers of the commission, the EU executive, saying its requests to companies for information during a crisis must be proportionate and security-focused, an EU document showed.
EU lawmakers face the task of thrashing out funding for the project, the document said.
The commission had earmarked money from research programs and unspent funds from other schemes, drawing criticism from some EU countries that this could unfairly benefit countries that already have chip facilities or are already set to attract chipmakers.
Netherlands-based ASML Holding NV, a leading global supplier of semiconductor production equipment, is considering bringing its European suppliers to Taiwan, doubling down on its supply-chain deployment in the country, Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday. That follows ASML’s announcement that it would build manufacturing facilities in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口) to support international customers and the development of the semiconductor industry. RELOCATION Shen did not disclose details about ASML’s new efforts to relocate European supply chains to Taiwan. ASML is to begin construction on the New Taipei City project in July, Shen said during a speech at a technology forum
Local suppliers of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) appear to be divided over whether they should follow the chipmaker and also set up production facilities in the US, after TSMC announced that it would increase its investment in Arizona. While some TSMC suppliers, including clean-room design service provider United Integrated Services Co (漢唐集成), have set up plants in the US, others, such as IC testing and analysis provider Materials Analysis Technology Inc (閎康科技), have hesitated to make the move because of high production costs in the US. TSMC on Tuesday announced that it would increase its planned US$12 billion investment in
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