Microelectronics / Information and Communication Technology

Half of all microchips made in Europe come from Dresden, which enjoys a worldwide reputation as the largest, most innovative microelectronics location on the continent. 1,500 businesses with over 48,000 workers make up Dresden's microelectronics cluster.

In 2010 these companies brought in a total turnover of 8.7 billion euros, showing growth of 48 percent compared with 2006. Dresden's microelectronics / ICT cluster emerged from the 2008 slump on the semiconductor market with new strength.

Dresden is home to the entire microelectronics value-added chain, from microchip design, high-volume wafer production and processing to a wide range of companies in the supply and service sectors and the end-user industry.

Gigafab in Dresden

GLOBALFOUNDRIES in Dresden has high-volume production plant for ultra-modern 300-millimeter microchips. It is one of the world's largest foundries for ultra-modern computer chips, which it produces for over 150 customers. Its primary plant, Fab 1, is in Dresden and has been converted into a gigafab by the end of 2012, with investment of some 1.3 billion euros. Fab 1 in Dresden is capable of producing 80,000 12-inch wafers monthly.

Electronics made of plastic

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) made in Dresden can easily be transferred onto flexible plastic sheets or other surfaces. Organic electronics clears the way for innovative display and lighting applications, or for solar cells which can be printed onto low-cost PET sheets in a roll-to-roll process.

Efficient microelectronics

The leading-edge cluster Cool Silicon aims to satisfy growing energy requirements for microchips using smart technology made in Dresden. The cluster coordinator, Prof. Thomas Mikolajick, talks with Saxon premier Stanislaw Tillich at the Cool Silicon booth at SEMICON in Dresden.


Players from the worlds of business and science count on leading-edge technology to tap new markets:

Energy efficiency

The leading-edge Dresden cluster 'Cool Silicon' works on innovations aimed at slashing energy use in both information and communication technology and sensor technology. The cluster brings together large companies and high-performing small- and medium-sized businesses, with 16 faculties at 3 technological colleges and nine research institutes.

Organic electronics

Organic components based on polymers allow transistors, LEDs and solar cells to be produced very cheaply. A team of scientists from the University of Technology, the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems, Novaled AG and Heliatek GmbH is a world market leader in this field and was presented with the German Future Prize in 2011. Europe's leading organic electronics cluster, OES, is based in Dresden.


The next generation of microchips is on its way to improve performance in the field of nanotechnology. The Nanoelectronics Materials Laboratory (NaMLab) carries out investigations into suitable semiconductor materials. The Fraunhofer Center for Nanoelectronic Technologies (CNT) works alongside partners from industry, such as GLOBALFOUNDRIES, to develop process solutions for the production of nanoelectronics systems.

3D system integration

One innovative means of creating better-performing, cheaper electronic products is 3D system integration, where several microchips are combined to produce a single three-dimensional system. The center 'All Silicon System Integration, Dresden' runs a 300-millimeter wafer line for wafer-level packaging and 3D system integration.

Dresden is also at the forefront...

...of innovation in the fields of software, cyber-physical systems, sensor technology and RFID. The local Cluster of Excellence 'Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden' means the city has a unique research center investigating future electronic information processing technologies.

The semiconductor industry is at the heart of this key sector. For global players such as GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Infineon Technologies and Toppan Photomasks, Dresden is not only a production site but also a base for research and development—with a rosy future:

Two important factors ...

... led these microelectronics companies, and many others, to choose Dresden as their business location:

High-quality workers

Dresden University of Technology is the only university in eastern Germany to have been awarded the title 'University of Excellence'; its traditional strengths lie in the natural sciences and engineering. At the same time, education providers specializing in microelectronics, such as 'dresden chip academy,' ensure that companies' demands for specialized staff are met.

One of the main reasons why AMD, and now GLOBALFOUNDRIES, chose Dresden and are investing here was summed up by the ex-CEO of AMD, Jerry Sanders: 'It's all about people.

Close local links between partners

The Silicon Saxony e.V. network is Europe's largest network for the semiconductor and microsystems industry. Cooperation among its 300 and more members leads to new, first-rate achievements and innovative developments. University faculties, working groups and specialized networks support cooperative ventures in the city.


GLOBALFOUNDRIES just extended its 300-millimeter works in Dresden to create a gigafab by the end of 2012, investing roughly 1.3 billion euros. 

By 2014 Infineon Technologies will have invested some 250 million euros in the series production of high-capacity semiconductors on 300-millimeter thin wafers, creating roughly 250 jobs in Dresden.


Excellence is the city‘s motto

Dresden’s success is based on key technologies including microelectronics, information-and-communications, new materials, photovoltaic and nanotechnology, and, life sciences and biotechnology. The interdisciplinary collaboration between businesses and research facilities helps move Dresden forward.