Infineon Technologies Dresden: Conquering Large Markets with Small Structures
Infineon Technologies Dresden GmbH is one of Infineon Technologies AG’s largest production sites. 2014 marks the company’s 20th anniversary.Today’s high volume production facility was initially founded as Siemens Microelectronics Center (SIMEC). On December 23, 1993 former Siemens chief executive Heinrich von Pierer announced his plan to build a production site for semiconductor products in Dresden, and within six months Chancellor Helmut Kohl laid the cornerstone for the new facility. Nine months later, it was ready for equipment with production technology. “The rapid completion was possible only because responsible authorities promptly issued all necessary permits,” Pantelis Haidas, Managing Director of the worldwide Infineon front-end manufacturing says. “The government support we receive has always been exemplary. Saxony’s state government and Dresden, its state capital, have been strongly committed to the semiconductor industry. This is very important to us.”
Dresden, a Pioneer in Technology Development
In the beginning, the Dresden facility produced storage chips on 200-millimeter wafers. In 2000, Saxony’s capital became the location of the world’s first 300-millimeter fab. Today, Infineon Technologies Dresden GmbH produces more than 200 different products and more than 30 technologies at structural widths from 0.25 micrometers to 90 nanometers. The product portfolio features high quality chips for the automotive industry, power management and cross-market applications, micro-controllers, and security components for passports, ID cards and chip cards. Infineon concentrates on three central needs of modern society: energy efficiency, mobility and safety. The company is the second largest producer of chips for automobile electronics and the global market leader for power electronics.
Industry Location of High Innovative Strength
Infineon has invested more than three billion Euros in Dresden. In 2011, the company’s executive board decided to expand the Dresden location to become the first high-volume production site for power semiconductor on 300-millimeter thin-wafers. This was the beginning of an important project with great future potential for Saxony. At Infineon the Dresden location stands for innovation with production focus. The fab continues to develop technologies, processes and equipment. The production is characterized by excellent quality and high yield. Its 200-millimeter fab is highly automated. The company has a staff of 2,000 employees including scientists and engineers.
Excellent Infrastructure for Long-Term Growth
“One of the important reasons to opt for Dresden as a location in 1994 was the fact that the city had already been the GDR’s center for microelectronics,” Managing Director Haidas says. “We were sure to find highly qualified and motivated employees. In addition, Saxony’s universities train excellent engineers. We do not have any difficulties recruiting skilled employees to work for us.”
The environment contributes to Dresden as a preferred industry location as well. Haidas says: “The city has an excellent infrastructure and outstanding competence in microelectronics. We find project partners at local universities and research institutes, such as the Fraunhofer Institutes. Silicon Saxony, which has become Europe’s largest industry association also contributes to maintaining and expanding this lively network. Moreover, Dresden is a beautiful metropolitan city with a high quality of life. This is an important factor for us, since it attracts international specialists and experts to Saxony.”