Dutch-based chipmaker Nexperia invests $200m in Germany

27 Jun 2024

Image: © Andrey Popov/Stock.adobe.com

The company focused on making legacy chips is owned by Chinese electronics maker WingTech.

Nexperia, a chipmaker headquartered in the Netherlands, will invest $200m in Germany to establish a site in Hamburg and develop the next generation of wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors.

Owned by Chinese electronics maker WingTech, Nexperia said in an announcement today (27 June) that the Hamburg investment aims to meet growing demand for efficient power semiconductors made of silicon carbide and gallium nitride, as well as for silicon diodes and transistors.

All three technologies will be developed and produced in Germany starting this month.

Achim Kempe, COO and managing director at Nexperia Germany, said that the investment strengthens the company’s position as a leading supplier of semiconductors and enables it to utilise available electrical energy more responsibly.

“In the future, our Hamburg fab will cover the complete range of WBG semiconductors while still being the largest factory for small signal diodes and transistors,” Kempe said.

“We remain committed to our strategy of producing high-quality, cost-efficient semiconductors for standard applications and power-intensive applications, while addressing one of the greatest challenges of our generation: meeting the growing demand for energy and while reducing the environmental footprint.”

The announcement comes at a time when the EU is increasingly concerned about China’s market dominance in legacy chips – such as those built by Nexperia – which power everyday technologies from washing machines to cars.

Along with the US, the bloc recently said they share “concerns” about non-market economic policies and practices that may lead to “distortionary effects” or “excessive dependencies” for legacy chips.

“We intend to extend the two administrative arrangements for a period of three years to enable further coordination and to establish synergies between our support for investments in the semiconductor sector taking place under the EU Chips Act and the US Chips Act,” the two parties wrote in a joint statement in April.

Currently engaged in a chip war with China, the US launched an industry survey to assess the use of legacy chips in supply chains that directly or indirectly support its national security and critical infrastructure. The EU also said at the time it was gathering information on the issue.

However, Nexperia has all its manufacturing and intellectual property in Europe, according to Reuters. It has 14,000 employees across Europe, Asia and the US. The company said it ships more than 100bn products globally every year.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

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