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ESMC to expand workforce with 2,000 hires from Germany, Europe

European Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (ESMC), a subsidiary of contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), will hire almost 2,000, from Germany and other European countries, ESMC president Christian Koitzsch said on Monday.

At the Taiwan-Europe semiconductor cooperation forum in Berlin, Koitzsch said ESMC would utilize TSMC’s advanced technologies, talent in Europe and good work ethic in Germany to build a world-class talent pool for the semiconductor industry.

In August last year, TSMC announced it would team up with Robert Bosch GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG and NXP Semiconductors NV to set up ESMC, in which the Taiwanese partner would hold a 70 percent stake and the three foreign partners would own the remaining 30 percent.

The joint venture is scheduled to break ground on a 12-inch wafer fab in Dresden, the capital city of Saxony, in the second half of this year with mass production slated to start at the end of 2027, using TSMC’s 12 nanometer, 16nm, 22nm and 28nm processes for the production of automotive electronics and specialty industrial devices.

In addition to the large recruitment campaign, TSMC will dispatch hundreds of engineers to Dresden over the next three to five years to boost exchanges with ESMC, Koitzsch said.

Koitzsch, a physicist, switched jobs earlier this year to become the head of ESMC after holding different roles at Bosch and had headed the company’s Dresden Bosch plant since July 2021.

The ESMC president said his company will send its employees to Taiwan for training to better understand how the wafer fab will operate, which is expected to improve the new Dresden facility’s operational efficiency and eventually help to build a semiconductor ecosystem in Germany.

According to Koitzsch, ESMC’s clean room will have an area of about 45,000 square meters, while the facility’s economies of scale are expected to cut operating costs, strengthen competitiveness, and create tremendous job opportunities in the supply chain.

Koitzsch said ESMC’s new plant will apply to a wide range of green technologies so that the facility’s water consumption will be about 50 percent of the industry’s average and power consumption by every 1 square centimeter silicon chip will be about 60 percent of the industrial average.

Koitzsch added that the new fab is expected to roll out about 480,000 12-inch wafers a year to boost Germany’s share in the global market.

While EMSC is planning to build a large talent pool, Torsten Thieme, an advisor with Silicon Saxony, said unions in Germany always take a hardline stance to employers and that’s one of the challenges TSMC has to conquer.

With more than 500 members, Silicon Saxony is the largest high-tech network in Saxony, one of the largest information and communications technology clusters in Germany and microelectronics clusters in Europe, the organization said on its Web site.

In the wake of a labor shortage, TSMC needs to come up with competitive compensation to attract production line workers and engineers to work for ESMC, Thieme said.

Wolfgang Weber, CEO of ZVEI (the German Electro and Digital Industry Association), said as it is three years away from mass production of ESMC’s new facility in Dresden in 2027, TSMC still has time to work with the academy and government agencies to cultivate talent.

Weber said he knew Taiwanese people worked very hard and long hours but it is unlikely to request workers in Germany to work 50 hours a week. Taipei Times

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