Shaping A Sustainable $1 Trillion Era

Innovation in Europe’s semiconductor industry shows growth can remain consistent with a net zero roadmap.


The semiconductor industry remains on course to reach a total of US$1 trillion in global revenue by 2030, with the journey from US$600 billion expected to take just a decade. At the CEO Summit during SEMICON Europa 2023, SEMI Europe President Laith Altimime attributed this remarkable growth to powerful megatrends, most notably artificial intelligence (AI). AI, in turn, is creating new opportunities across various sectors such as smart mobility, healthcare, Industry 4.0, and logistics. However, Altimime cautioned, the industry still faces headwinds: “The war for talent, the need to operate in a world that is moving towards net zero, supply chain vulnerabilities, and geopolitical tensions all have the potential to impede growth.”

Laith Altimime, President, SEMI Europe

Ajit Manocha, President and CEO of SEMI, outlined SEMI’s role in addressing these headwinds. He highlighted the SEMI Semiconductor Climate Consortium (SCC) and the imec ITF towards NETZERO conference as efforts to address the net zero imperative. SEMI is also actively leading multiple workstreams dedicated to enhancing supply chain resilience, agility, and risk management. Manocha also referenced the SEMI International Policy Summit (SIPS) in Hawaii, where senior semiconductor industry executives engaged with governments from across the globe, noting “the SIPS enables the big challenges confronting the industry to be addressed collaboratively by industry and government together. This crucial initiative could not have happened without SEMI, and we look forward to the next summit from March 4 to 5 in Brussels.”

Ajit Manocha, President and CEO, SEMI

Manufacturing expansions and R&D collaboration will enable path towards US$1 trillion

As the industry aims for US$1 trillion in global chip sales propelled by megatrends such as AI, pervasive connectivity and smart mobility, new semiconductor production must expand at a rapid rate to keep pace. Manocha noted the SEMI forecast for 94 new fabs between 2022 and 2026, and yet at least 50 more are needed to meet the demands of a US$1 trillion market.

Luc Van den hove, CEO of imec, noted a timely boost in chip manufacturing investments by the EU and US Science and Chips Acts. However, he advised against a global race for leading-edge wafer fabrication investment, emphasizing that each region has its unique strengths. Van den hove cautioned that striving for complete replication of the chip value chain locally in every region could result in mediocrity.

Luc Van den hove, President and CEO, imec

Highlighting Europe’s strengths, Van den hove underscored the significance of the region’s three leading research and technology organizations (RTOs): imec, Fraunhofer, and CEA-Leti. He envisions the collaborative efforts of these RTOs and universities as a catalyst for turbocharging innovation in the chip sector, supported by the technology pilot lines and competence centers funded by the EU Chips Act.

Sébastien Dauvé, CEO of CEA-Leti, reinforced this message by outlining a CEA-Leti pilot line supported by the EU Chips Act. The line uses FD-SOI processes to enable 3D structures at advanced nodes down to 7nm. With its FD-SOI pilot line geared to support the development of 6G mobile, automotive, quantum computing, and other applications, CEA-Leti welcomes participation from all EU stakeholders.

Sébastien Dauvé, CEO, CEA-Leti

Leveraging regional strengths

Christoph Schell, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Intel, emphasized the demand in Europe’s automotive industry, where the region holds significant influence. Intel’s commitment to invest US$50 billion in Europe in the next two years aligns with this strategy to leverage regional strengths, particularly to support automotive manufacturers in transitioning from traditional fixed-function, distributed computing models to innovative open, software-defined architectures centered on an ultra-powerful central compute unit. Schell predicts that leading-edge processor ICs will play a pivotal role at the core of this evolving automotive compute model.

Christoph Schell, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Intel

Focusing beyond the leading edge, Rutger Wijburg, Chief Operations Officer of Infineon, noted the trend of centralizing compute functions and the growing need to increase power distribution. He anticipates a rapid growth in demand for zonal microcontrollers, complex sensors, and smart real-time mechatronics systems. Wijburg applauded the formation of the European Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (ESMC) joint venture among Bosch, Infineon, NXP, and TSMC and its aim to facilitate the fabrication of such devices in Europe.

Rutger Wijburg, Chief Operations Officer, Infineon Technologies AG

Following suit, Paul de Bot, General Manager EMEA of TSMC, acknowledged the exciting potential of the ESMC, but framed it in a global context: TSMC is making a substantial investment of US$32 billion in 2023 to expand manufacturing capacity, consistent with its record of dedicating about half of its revenue to annual growth.

Paul de Bot, General Manager EMEA, TSMC

Rebecca Dobson, Corporate Vice President EMEA of Cadence, highlighted the potential of multi-die chiplet architectures in the automotive industry and beyond. Combining multiple small dies in a single chip, she noted, could help to reduce power consumption while also improving yield. The Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) consortium will play an essential role in expediting chiplet adoption. “The UCIe working group is really important – and Cadence has large amounts of UCIe-compliant IP for use in chiplet designs,” she said.

Rebecca Dobson, Corporate Vice President EMEA, Cadence

Comet Yxlon CEO Dr. Stephan Haferl unveiled a groundbreaking 3D X-ray inspection technology designed for advanced packaging to enhance yield. Haferl emphasized that this innovative technology delivers actionable insights to R&D and production teams to accelerate new process introductions, a substantial leap forward compared to conventional tools. These tools often provide less informative images and require longer scanning times, particularly when dealing with features like microbumps.

Stephan Haferl, CEO, Comet Group

Industry answers the call for a more sustainable future

The path to US$1 trillion in chip revenues must align with global net zero commitments, requiring substantial reductions in the carbon intensity of chip production. Keon Lauwers, President of the semiconductor division of Edwards, urged CEOs to embrace sustainability through the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi). Lauwers highlighted how Edwards’ sub-fab equipment contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions via abatement and recovery processes. He emphasized innovation in recovering pure hydrogen from fab processes, not only mitigating emissions but also reduce fab operating costs.

Koen Lauwers, President Semiconductor Division, Edwards

Collaboration key to industry growth

The anticipation of semiconductor industry growth toward the $1 trillion revenue milestone generated excitement at the CEO Summit. SEMI Europe President Laith Altimime welcomed the industry’s recognition of the importance of responsible growth, emphasizing commitment to net zero and other sustainability goals. He concluded the summit by highlighting the collaborative theme of the day: “No one company can do all this on its own. Connect and collaborate has been the overarching theme today, and SEMI is ready to support all companies in this collective endeavor.”

On behalf of SEMI, the SEMI Europe team would like to express appreciation to the industry leaders for sharing their visions and readiness to collaborate during the CEO Summit.

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