D he automotive supplier Bosch is setting the course, analogous to its customers Electromobility. A new semiconductor plant is planned in Dresden, for which the foundation stone has now been laid. It is the second factory for semiconductors from Bosch after the location in the Swabian town of Reutlingen.
The basis of the semiconductors is a small, very thin silicon wafer. Bosch will be producing discs with a thickness of 300 millimeters in the new factory. The company expects higher economies of scale from this than from thinner components. The production of the small silicon wafers takes several weeks, the work steps are complex and numerous.
Huge volume of data in production
The smallest dust particles in the air would massively damage the semiconductors, which is why production in takes place in a clean room. This is largely automated. Artificial intelligence in the plant's computer network independently analyzes and optimizes the production processes. Computers can do that faster than humans. The amount of production data is immense: the equivalent of 500 pages of text per second. In one day, over 42 million written sheets of paper with a total weight of 22 tons would be produced.
For the region, the Bosch location means the creation of new jobs, also for academics: “For this networked and automated production we are looking for creative minds - above all experts in semiconductor technology, such as process engineers, mathematicians or software developers, ”explains plant manager Otto Graf.
700 new jobs
The factory should be completed by the end of 2019 . The first employees will arrive at the beginning of 2020, only then will the preparation of production begin. Bosch is planning to start a pilot series of semiconductors “made in Dresden” in 2021. When the plant is at full capacity, Bosch plans to employ 700 people in Dresden.
After a global comparison of cities, Bosch decided on Dresden as the home of the new semiconductor manufacturing facility. “The state capital has an excellent microelectronics cluster,” said Bosch managing director Dr. Dirk Hoheisel. Suppliers, qualified service providers and buyers are located in the region. This also includes the car manufacturers Porsche and BMW, both in Leipzig, just over 100 kilometers away, with local production facilities. In Saxony also the electric or electrifiedBMW models i3 and i8 built.