The cornerstone of the European Leaders Group (ELG) report to EC vp Neelie Kroes, due in a week or two, should be the construction of a high volume FD-SOI wafer fab, said Malcolm Penn, CEO of Future Horizons, at the company’s forecast meeting in London, earlier this week.
The ELG was set up to devise a plan to implement the 20% European semiconductor market share target in Kroes’ 10/100/20 plan.
The ELG was due to report on December 16th. But instead of a detailed roadmap the EC issued a statement of general aspirations with an undertaking that a detailed roadmap for implementation would be published in late January or early February.
It was widely assumed that Kroes had not approved of the ELG’s report and had set the group to write a new one.
It is thought that the CEOs of the Big Three European semiconductor manufacturers Carlo Bozotti, Reinhard Ploss and Rick Clemmer don’t want to build fabs in Europe – or indeed anywhere else.
And if the three biggest manufacturers won’t expand manufacturing capacity in Europe, how can Kroes get her 20% world semiconductor market share?
“Neelie laid down the marching orders but the troops aren’t marching,” said Penn, “it’s a tough target to get from 6% to 20% – we need something in addition to the existing companies plus GloFo.”
“Building a volume production FD-SOI fab would be one of the most blatantly obvious things the ELG could do,” said Penn, “it should be a cornerstone of the ELG plan. It would be a fantastic thing for them to do.”