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Semiconductor crisis, the turning point: Europe breaks away from Taiwan with a maxi plan worth 50 billion


To address the chronic shortage of semiconductors also takes the field Europe that tomorrow, Tuesday 8 February, will announce a maxi-plan of 50 billion euros to push semiconductor production in Europe from 10% to 20% by 2030.
At the root of the problem is a concrete and tangible imbalance between a question higher and higher and an offer that fails to satisfy it in the slightest. To date, Asian countries dominate the ranking of global chip manufacturers. And in particular, Taiwan which, thanks to TSMC – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company – controls 51% of the global market.

Maxi plan on semiconductors, what does it foresee

The draft law on microchips – Chips Act – which the Commission will present according to a draft which Ansa has read, intends to pursue strategic autonomy in the sector, limiting dependence on third countries with the creation of maxi-centers in the Union European. New rules will also make it possible to impose export controls, in the wake of what has been done for vaccines.

“The need for microchips will double over the next decade,” he said a few days ago the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. “By 2030, 20% of world microchip production should be here in Europe, double today in a market that is set to double in the next decade, so it means quadrupling today’s European production,” added von der Leyen, explaining that public funds earmarked for chips “will be more than offset by private investment.” European semiconductor companies are now investing around € 6 billion annually.

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In particular, in the maxi-floor are provided 12 billion euros of public funds (six from the EU budget and six from national governments) for the research and development of safe and energy efficient semiconductors. To these are added further 30 billion euros of public investments already foreseen by governments, supported by the Recovery Fund, by the Horizon Europe program and by state budgets, while a 5 billion euro fund dedicated to startups is being studied.

News also in the rules on state aid, adapted to be more flexible, in support of European companies and the creation of large semiconductor production plants called Mega Fab. The Chips Act includes recommendations to introduce certain safeguards in the event of a major crisis in global supply chains.

Anticipating the European measure, in recent days, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton indicated as a possible model American Defense Production Actwhich confers emergency powers on the government to prioritize the country’s industrial needs.

“We are not protectionists, the bill will serve to compensate” Europe’s dependence on Asia, especially on the Taiwan area, with many investments to strengthen research, welcome mega-factories and have the tools to guarantee security of supply ”Explained Breton in recent days.

The US is also working on this front

They also move on the same level the United States, where the House passed a bill with large investments designed to increase semiconductor production in the country. Major items include approximately $ 52 billion in grants and subsidies to help the microchip industry and $ 45 billion to strengthen supply chains for high-tech products.

The bill, which must also be approved by the Senate, aims at increase internal chip production, which is having serious repercussions on the economy, starting with the automotive sector.

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We recall, in this regard, that the United States share in the production of microchips globally has dramatically dropped from 37% in 1990 to about 12% today. The Biden administration and lawmakers are trying to reverse that trend, which industry officials say is led by foreign competitors receiving large government subsidies. The pandemic, then, with the blocking of production has put a strain on the supply chain of chips.

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