Bosch Group has laid the foundation stone for a €1bn wafer fab facility in Saxony state capital of Dresden, Germany.
Construction is scheduled to be completed in late 2019, when the installation of the production machinery will begin.
Robert Bosch management board member Dirk Hoheisel said: “Today we are laying the foundation stone for the wafer fab of the future, and with it the foundation for improving people’s quality of life and their safety on the road.
“Semiconductors are the key technology for the Internet of Things and the mobility of the future. When installed in cars’ control units, for example, they enable automated, efficient driving and the best possible passenger protection.”
The Dresden plant will be the company’s second wafer fab in Germany. The first plant is located in Reutlingen.
Plant manager Otto Graf said: “Construction is proceeding right on schedule. During the construction phase, we will move some 7,500 truckloads of earth, lay about 80km of piping and ductwork, and mix more than 65,000m³ of concrete – 8,000 concrete mixers-worth.”
Pilot manufacturing operations are expected to begin at the end of 2021.
The 100,000m² plot will include a 72,000m² multi-storey building that will house offices and production space.
The company said that nearly 700 people will be involved in the automated chip manufacturing process.
The new Bosch factory will focus on the production of 300mm wafers as this technology offers greater economies of scale when compared with conventional 150mm and 200mm wafer fabs.
As the Dresden facility is expected to generate production data equivalent to 500 text pages per second, artificial intelligence will be used in the factory.
The automated production facilities at the plant will analyse their own data to optimise their processes, resulting in an increase in the quality of the chips and decline in production costs.
Planning and process engineers can access the data to accelerate the development of new wafer products or minimise tolerances early on in the manufacturing process.
Image: A rendering of the wafer fab facility to be established in Dresden, Germany. Photo: courtesy of Robert Bosch GmbH.