Bosch will invest in Semi Conductor Test Centre based in Penang
In the face of the global chip shortage, Bosch plans to invest more than 400 million euros in expanding its wafer fabs in Dresden and Reutlingen, Germany, and its semiconductor operations in Penang, Malaysia.
“Demand for chips is continuing to grow at breakneck speed. In light of current developments, we are systematically expanding our semiconductor production so we can provide our customers with the best possible support,”
Says Dr Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.
In Penang, Malaysia, Bosch is also building a test centre for semiconductors from scratch. Starting in 2023, the centre will test finished semiconductor chips and sensors. This highly automated and connected factory is set to perform testing of semiconductor chips and sensors starting in 2023. In total, Bosch has more than 100,000 square meters of land available on Penang’s mainland strip, which will be developed in stages. Initially, the test centre will cover an area of around 14,000 square meters – including clean rooms, office space, research and development, and training facilities for up to 400 associates. Earthworks for the new location started at the end of 2020, and work on the buildings began in May 2021. The test centre is scheduled to start operations in 2023. The additional testing capacity in Penang is intended to open up the possibility of locating new technologies in Bosch’s wafer fabs in the future, such as silicon carbide semiconductors in Reutlingen. In addition, the new location in Asia will shorten delivery times and distances for the chips.
“Bosch can draw on its specific semiconductor and automotive expertise to develop superior electronic systems. This benefits our customers and the countless people who want to continue to enjoy safe and efficient mobility in the future,”
says Harald Kroeger, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.
Faster ramp-up in Dresden, new clean rooms in Reutlingen
“Our aim is to ramp up production of chips in Dresden earlier than planned and at the same time expand clean-room capacity in Reutlingen. Every additional chip we produce will help in the current situation,” says Harald Kroeger, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. In two stages, a total of more than 4,000 square meters will be added to the current 35,000 square meters of clean-room space in Reutlingen. The first stage, adding 1,000 square meters of production area for 200-millimetre wafers to bring the total to 11,500 square meters, has already been completed. Over recent months, this involved converting office space into a clean room and connecting it to the existing wafer fab via a bridge. The new facility has been producing wafers since September. “We’ve already expanded our manufacturing capacity for 200-millimetre wafers by some 10 percent,” Kroeger says. The capital outlay for this came to 50 million euros (in 2021). In making this move, the company is responding to increased demand for MEMS sensors and silicon carbide power semiconductors. The second stage of the expansion will create a further 3,000 square meters of clean-room space by the end of 2023. To this end, the company will invest some 50 million euros in both 2022 and 2023. Bosch is also creating 150 new jobs in semiconductor development at its Reutlingen location.