Jun 20, 2024

US Chip Manufacturer onsemi to Invest $2 Billion in Czechia

American chipmaker ON Semiconductor Corporation (onsemi) is investing up to $2 billion to expand its factory in the Czech Republic.

Onsemi and the Czech government announced the new investment in its existing factory in the Czech town of Roznov pod Radhostem on Wednesday.

The investment is the biggest in the country since the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said the investment would multiply the plant’s current output, which is 10 million chips per day.

The company, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, said the number of jobs created in Roznov will increase to 3,000 from the current 1,700.

Onsemi plans to build a silicon carbide manufacturing facility that would give greater efficiency to semiconductors, which are critical computer components.

Onsemi supplies chips that go into electric cars and help with driver-assistance systems like cameras and sensors. Its silicon carbide chips also help extend the range of electric vehicles.

Onsemi is “one of the only companies in the world” with the ability to manufacture semiconductors that use silicon carbide, according to the press release. Silicon carbide is a “critical material for high-power, high-temperature applications, and is extremely difficult to produce,” it says.

Silicon carbide chips are more expensive than standard silicon ones but are favored by automakers because they are energy-efficient, lightweight, and tough.

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The head of onsemi’s power solutions division, Simon Keeton, said that production from the new investment could start in 2027.

The onsemi investment in the Czech Republic comes as global semiconductor manufacturing is expected to become a trillion-dollar industry by 2030, expanding from $600 billion in 2021, consultancy firm McKinsey says.

The United States is forecast to increase its domestic chip manufacturing by 200 percent in 10 years, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

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