Infineon: From R&D to production on 300mm power devices

Infineon Technologies AG is expanding its Austrian site in Villach. Core emphasis is the on the expansion of expertise for the manufacturing of the future as well as research and development (R&D). “Pilot Space Industry 4.0” will realize and put to the test an innovative concept for networked and knowledge-intensive production. Research on new materials and technologies will also be intensified. Infineon’s expansion plans foresee investments and research costs amounting to a total of € 290 million, creating approximately 200 new jobs in the period from 2014 to 2017, primarily in R&D.

Peter Schiefer, President of Operations at Infineon Technologies and responsible for the worldwide production sites, explains:

“The continuing development of Villach is a part of our group-wide manufacturing strategy. At the site, important developments will be advanced and production-ready innovative technologies will be transferred by Infineon to other sites. At the same time our strategy will include expansion of our volume manufacturing on 300 millimeter thin wafers in Dresden and on 200 millimeter wafers in Kulim, Malaysia.”

Sabine Herlitschka, CEO of Infineon Technologies Austria AG, says:

“With the expansion concept Villach is reinforcing its important role as a factory of innovation and a competence center for power electronics within the corporate group. We’re making an important contribution to the success of the company by coupling the innovation factory in Villach with volume production in Dresden using the example of 300 millimeter thin wafer production for power semiconductors.”

Herlitschka added that this move will also develop a unique production cluster in Austria and Germany that is prominently visible throughout Europe.

Industry 4.0 Pilot Space

Infineon will construct a leading-edge building complex for research, production and measurement technology workstations. Logistics, miscellaneous infrastructures and the plant equipment will also be expanded to meet future demand. This will let Infineon mobilize the productivity and automation called for in international competition, while at the same time increasing flexibility.

Infineon has been actively engaged in the Industry 4.0 initiative from the very beginning; its pilot space in Villach is another step towards realizing this vision. Industry 4.0 embodies a paradigm shift in value creation and brings enormous opportunities to European industry. The Infineon Austria project is an important contribution towards increasing European competitive strength. The pilot operation in Villach will feature production based on a cyber-physical system with highly modern production control and automation systems. Under the prerequisite of the highest possible data security and data integrity levels, the interaction of man and machine will attain a new dimension in the pilot facility. At the same time, Infineon will continue to pursue its goal of increased energy efficiency in production.

New Materials and Technologies

A wide-scale research program with innovations in materials, processes, technologies and system expertise is the second pillar of the Villach site expansion, supporting development of the next generation of energy-efficient products. Here the program focuses on the integration of innovative substrates such as gallium nitride and silicon carbide, on MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) and sensor technologies as well as on the continuing development of 300 millimeter thin wafer technology.

Regional Expertise

The many years of growth at Infineon Technologies Austria AG have been supported by a tightly knit collaborative network connecting the company, the city of Villach, the Austrian province of Carinthia, the Republic of Austria and European institutions. As a result it has been possible to turn southern Austria into a high-tech region and to contribute to raising the region’s profile and increasing its competitive strength in the sense of “Smart Specialization”. With the “Pilot Space Industry 4.0” project Infineon is taking the next step in development, meaning it will also collaborate even more intensively with research partners, universities, technical institutes and SMEs in the innovation system. Peter Kaiser, Governor of the Austrian province of Carinthia, comments: “Carinthia and Infineon are an excellent fit, in terms of Innovation, Investment and Internationality. This Triple-I is the spirit of Carinthia in international competition and also stands exactly for Infineon as one of the internationally successful corporate leaders of our province. Together we’ll write many success stories like ‘Pilot Space Industry 4.0’. Such investments are proof of confidence in reforms and continuing development plans for our attractive, future-oriented business location Austria.”

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