Viewpoint - Stephen Rothrock
January 16, 2023

VIEWPOINT 2023: Stephen Rothrock, President & CEO, ATREG, Inc.

VIEWPOINT 2023: Stephen Rothrock, President & CEO, ATREG, Inc.
Stephen Rothrock, President & CEO, ATREG, Inc.
Fab sharing to increase in 2023

Pandemics, geopolitical tensions, energy crises, rising fab construction costs, endemic fab ecosystem issues, skilled labor shortages, and sustainability requirements are compelling global chip makers to find creative ways to deliver the capacity needed to meet global market demand while keeping manufacturing costs under control. As a result, fab sharing is slowly emerging as a new operating model we will likely see more of in 2023.

Last July, STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries announced they were joined forces to create a new high-volume 300mm fab adjacent to ST’s existing 300mm facility in Crolles, France, supported by significant funding from the French government. This is not STMicroelectronics’ first fab sharing rodeo — the company is already operating its 300mm wafer fab in Agrate Brianza, Italy with Tower to accelerate analog and power semiconductor production.

In a world where total operational semiconductor capacity is currently provided by 153 300mm fabs, 223 200mm fabs, and 297 150mm fabs, operating existing 200mm brownfield fabs and mature nodes will remain critical for the future of our industry.

Core 200mm demand remains strong in light of the shortage of available 200mm fabs. With greenfield expansions mainly focused on 300mm leading edge, semiconductor manufacturers will still have to convert some 200mm fab tools to 300mm to keep up. As recessionary times lay ahead of us, fab sharing is a very smart move on behalf of chip makers to build on existing semiconductor clusters, share risks, and produce at a lower cost.

Stephen Rothrock, President & CEO
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