Swift Action On EU Chips Adoption

EU industry association is displeased at the slow progress of the European Chips Act. Reports from discussions at SEMI Europe ISS 2022 and imec Future Summits in Brussels, Leuven and Antwerp Belgium.

FREMONT, CA: SEMI Europe called for the EU to take swifter action to specify funding allocations and governance for the adoption of the European Chips Act. Senior executives from the European semiconductor industry gathered here this week for the Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) 2022. SEMI Europe’s President Laith Altimime reiterated his concerns with the lack of specificity in the provisions of the European Chips Act to EE Times Europe at the start of the summit in Brussels. This includes budgetary allocations for each of the act's pillars, along with industry participation in the governing body that would approve operational decisions for the act. He called for the act to be approved quickly and invited the European Parliament, Member States, and the European Commission to discuss it. The organisation also released a position paper with proposals for the European Commission, Parliament, and the European Council to consider.

The European Chips Act intends to boost Europe's competitiveness and resilience in semiconductor technologies and applications while also facilitating the digital and green transition. Altimime remarked that the swift approval of the European Chips Act is likely to enhance Europe’s competitiveness to attract investments in chip manufacturing capacity and R&D. The act is also a crucial step forward in Europe's efforts to significantly reduce carbon emissions from semiconductor manufacturing and accelerate digital transformation.

Chips for Europe Initiative.

• Enhance R&D capacity and provide sufficient financing.

• Align new and existing pilot lines with projected future needs and trends, and encourage open access to all stakeholders involved in the EU semiconductor value chain.

• The Chips Joint Undertaking must focus on the demands of Europe's semiconductor sector.

• Under the Chips Joint Undertaking, create a specific funding stream for skills and workforce development.

Supply assurance

• To target all relevant technology initiatives, create a one-of-a-kind classification.

• Encourage the use of expedited procedures.

Inspection and preparation

• Reduce the risks to the semiconductor value chain and the EU economy as a whole.

• Remove duplicate data reporting requirements that generate inefficiencies in semiconductor businesses' administrative processes.

• Establish standards for protecting the confidentiality of industry information.

• Encourage European collaboration with international partners, such as the EU-US Trade and Technology Council.

Governance

• Stakeholders in Europe's semiconductor ecosystem should be included.

SEMI Europe also co-authored and signed a Joint Industry Statement with other semiconductor industry stakeholder organisations from across the world. The European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council are urged to accomplish the following:

• Investing conditions and prospects to boost European competitiveness are emphasised.

• To assist lessen semiconductor industry interruptions, create a crisis response structure.

• Involve the semiconductor sector in the governance of the Europe Chips Act.

• Actions should be coordinated with worldwide partners.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, spoke to an audience of nearly 2,000 people at the Future Summits in Antwerp, Belgium, and repeated the act's ambitions without going into too much detail. She commented how the chips have opened up a scientific revolution and the world is experiencing a chip shortage with increasing demand. As a result, the goal of the European Chips Act is to increase chip production in Europe - currently, Europe produces only eight per cent of the world's chips, but experts anticipate an increase to 30 per cent by 2030. Building on Europe's leadership in semiconductor research, filling critical gaps, and expanding global supply chain collaborations are three major goals outlined in the act. The Chips act is expected to provide public support for first-of-a-kind manufacturing facilities that do not currently exist in the United States.