Germany makes new move to attract chip manufacturers

$14.7b in state aid on offer for companies to set up shop in the country


Germany's government is looking to attract chipmakers to the country by offering €14 billion ($14.7 billion) in financial support, apparently spurred on by global semiconductor supply chain problems.

The move follows the European Chips Act from the European Commission and Intel's decision earlier this year to build a new fabrication plant in Germany.

The latest announcement was made by Germany's vice chancellor and federal minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck at a business event in Hanover, according to Reuters, who said that his government wants to attract chip makers with €14 billion ($14.7 billion) in state aid.

He cited the recent chip shortages that are causing problems for myriad industries including the automobile sector and IT equipment makers, which have even reportedly led to some vendors buying washing machines to rip out the chips for reuse.

This latest move underlines the increasing importance that semiconductors play in the global economy, and how securing supplies is becoming an area of concern for leaders around the world.

In February, the European Commission unveiled its European Chips Act, which proposes a number of initiatives to boost semiconductor research and development within the EU and building new production capacities to lessen European reliance on chip supplies from countries such as China.

It starts with initial investment of €11 billion ($11.6 billion), which is expected to rise to more than €43 billion ($45 billion) of public and private investments by 2030.

"In the short term, this will increase our resilience to future crises, by enabling us to anticipate and avoid supply chain disruptions. And in the mid-term, it will help make Europe an industrial leader in this strategic branch," European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said at the announcement of the European Chips Act.

The US is also trying to prime government investment in semiconductor manufacturing and R&D with the US CHIPS Act, which was signed into law in 2021 but needs a further piece of legislation – America COMPETES Act – to be passed in order to unlock a potential $52 billion of funding to boost chip production stateside.

India is also hoping to get in on the act, and is reported to be trying to tempt both Intel and Taiwanese chip maker TSMC to set up fabrication facilities in the subcontinent with a $10 billion subsidy plan that could be used to cover up to half of the cost of a new chip plant.

Intel has already chosen Germany to build a massive new chip fabrication facility at a site in Magdeburg. CEO Pat Gelsinger had previously stated that the company would be willing to pour up to €80 billion ($84.6 billion) into new semiconductor manufacturing plants across Europe as part of the chipmaker's intentions to become one of the largest foundry operators in the world.

Despite shortages and supply chain issues, the global semiconductor market is still expected to hit $676 billion during 2022, up by 13.6 percent over 2021, according to forecasts by Gartner. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Verizon: Ransomware sees biggest jump in five years
    We're only here for DBIRs

    The cybersecurity landscape continues to expand and evolve rapidly, fueled in large part by the cat-and-mouse game between miscreants trying to get into corporate IT environments and those hired by enterprises and security vendors to keep them out.

    Despite all that, Verizon's annual security breach report is again showing that there are constants in the field, including that ransomware continues to be a fast-growing threat and that the "human element" still plays a central role in most security breaches, whether it's through social engineering, bad decisions, or similar.

    According to the US carrier's 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) released this week [PDF], ransomware accounted for 25 percent of the observed security incidents that occurred between November 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021, and was present in 70 percent of all malware infections. Ransomware outbreaks increased 13 percent year-over-year, a larger increase than the previous five years combined.

    Continue reading
  • Slack-for-engineers Mattermost on open source and data sovereignty
    Control and access are becoming a hot button for orgs

    Interview "It's our data, it's our intellectual property. Being able to migrate it out those systems is near impossible... It was a real frustration for us."

    These were the words of communication and collaboration platform Mattermost's founder and CTO, Corey Hulen, speaking to The Register about open source, sovereignty and audio bridges.

    "Some of the history of Mattermost is exactly that problem," says Hulen of the issue of closed source software. "We were using proprietary tools – we were not a collaboration platform before, we were a games company before – [and] we were extremely frustrated because we couldn't get our intellectual property out of those systems..."

    Continue reading
  • UK government having hard time complying with its own IR35 tax rules
    This shouldn't come as much of a surprise if you've been reading the headlines at all

    Government departments are guilty of high levels of non-compliance with the UK's off-payroll tax regime, according to a report by MPs.

    Difficulties meeting the IR35 rules, which apply to many IT contractors, in central government reflect poor implementation by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and other government bodies, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said.

    "Central government is spending hundreds of millions of pounds to cover tax owed for individuals wrongly assessed as self-employed. Government departments and agencies owed, or expected to owe, HMRC £263 million in 2020–21 due to incorrect administration of the rules," the report said.

    Continue reading
  • Internet went offline in Pakistan as protestors marched for ousted prime minister
    Two hour outage 'consistent with an intentional disruption to service' said NetBlocks

    Internet interruption-watcher NetBlocks has reported internet outages across Pakistan on Wednesday, perhaps timed to coincide with large public protests over the ousting of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

    The watchdog organisation asserted that outages started after 5:00PM and lasted for about two hours. NetBlocks referred to them as “consistent with an intentional disruption to service.”

    Continue reading
  • Suspected phishing email crime boss cuffed in Nigeria
    Interpol, cops swoop with intel from cybersecurity bods

    Interpol and cops in Africa have arrested a Nigerian man suspected of running a multi-continent cybercrime ring that specialized in phishing emails targeting businesses.

    His alleged operation was responsible for so-called business email compromise (BEC), a mix of fraud and social engineering in which staff at targeted companies are hoodwinked into, for example, wiring funds to scammers or sending out sensitive information. This can be done by sending messages that impersonate executives or suppliers, with instructions on where to send payments or data, sometimes by breaking into an employee's work email account to do so.

    The 37-year-old's detention is part of a year-long, counter-BEC initiative code-named Operation Delilah that involved international law enforcement, and started with intelligence from cybersecurity companies Group-IB, Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, and Trend Micro.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022