Monday, March 28, 2022 5:00 – 6:00pm CEST
Hosted as an one-on-one interview by Nitan Dahad, European Correspondent of EETimes, Lars Reger, CTO & EVP of NXP Semiconductors shared his thoughts on the recently announced European Chips Act by the European Commission. The Act aims to support an increase in semiconductor R&D and production across Europe in response to rising demand, to build on existing strengths and to reduce dependency on suppliers outside Europe.
The EU Chips Act looks to invest 43 billion euros (US$49 billion) into the semiconductor industry and help the region to become an “industrial leader” in the future. Specifically, the EU wants to boost its market share of chip production to 20% by 2030, from 9% currently, and produce the “most sophisticated and energy-efficient semiconductors in Europe.
Lars Reger, CTO & Executive VP of NXP
Lars Reger is executive vice president and chief technology officer of NXP Semiconductors. As CTO, Lars is responsible for managing new business activities and R&D in the focus markets of automotive, industry 4.0., internet of things (IoT), mobile, and connectivity & infrastructure.
Before joining NXP, Lars gained deep insight into the microelectronics industry with a focus on the automotive sector. He began his career with Siemens Semiconductors as product engineer in 1997. His past roles at Infineon included head of the process and product engineering departments, project manager for mobile system chips, and director of IP management. Prior to joining NXP as head of automotive strategy in 2008, he was responsible for business development and product management within the connectivity business unit at Continental. In December 2018, Lars was appointed CTO and has since then been responsible for the overall technology portfolio of NXP. Since April 2019, he has been a board member of the committee for digital economy, telecommunications and media in the German Industry Association. Lars is also on the board of directors of ITS World Congress and a member of the Forbes Technology Council. Lars earned a degree in physics from Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn and an MBA from London Business School.
Nitin Dahad, European Correspondent EE Times
Nitin Dahad is Editor-in-Chief of embedded.com, and correspondent for EE Times and EE Times Europe. As an electronic engineering degree graduate from City University in London in 1986, he has held roles as an engineer, journalist, entrepreneur, startup mentor and government advisor. He was part of the startup team that launched 32-bit microprocessor company ARC International in the U.S. and took it public, and co-founder of The Chilli, a publication which had influenced in the tech startup scene in the early 2000s. He’s also worked with National Semiconductor, GEC Plessey Semiconductors, Dialog Semiconductor and Marconi Instruments, and fabless companies such as Coresonic, IDENT Technology, and Jennic. As a specialist advisor with U.K. government, he spent several years promoting technology and helping build inter-governmental and trade body relationships in the U.S., Brazil, Middle East & Africa, and India.
Current landscape of the European Semiconductor Industry
- The industry is facing short term supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic
- There are long-term growth opportunities driven by ubiquitous smart connected robots. For example, semiconductors used in automotive applications have increased by 20-25%.
- Geopolitical issues – a global supply chain is not the issue; local singularity of certain supplies need to be addressed.
Challenges of the European Semiconductor Industry
- Innovation is not an issue – R&D activity is strong
- The EU is behind on leading edge manufacturing technology, but leading edge nodes are not necessary required to support the main industries in Europe.
- 75% of front-end CAPEX is going towards smaller than 15nm node technology, but demand for chips in mature nodes will continue to increase.
- CAPAX of between 300B – 600B euros will be required to build fab capacity to achieve the goal of 20% of chips made in Europe. This will require more than the EU CHIPS Act.
Next Steps for the European Semiconductor Industry
- Energy efficiency should be one of the areas of focus for future research, along with analog sensing and secure and safe connectivity.
- NATO (transatlantic) type collaboration between the EU and the US, to complement each of the strong points.
- Assembly and Test capabilities already available in the region and relatively easy to transfer technology.