On October 7, 2019, Bosch representatives of the press led a tour of the construction site of its new semiconductor factory in Dresden. According to Bosch, the construction, which began in February 2018, is progressing according to plan. In June 2019, work began on the interior fittings to build the cleanroom and install supplies for the production machines to be built later.
The new building, costing around 1 billion euros and the largest single investment in the history of Bosch, is expected to produce pilot series by the end of 2021. By January 2020, construction should have progressed to the point where the first production facilities can be installed. In the same year, Bosch plans to produce its first sample chips.
Bosch Semiconductor Factory Construction Site in DresdenImpressions of the new building for Bosch's 300 mm semiconductor production.
Up to 700 employees will develop ASICs in the new semiconductor factory and manufacture them on 300 mm wafers, e.g. for airbags, ESP systems and engine controls. Here, Bosch is relying on a structure size of 90 nm. At the end of 2019, the first associates will move into the new offices next to the semiconductor production facility. Bosch has already acquired 200 associates for the new plant in Dresden, and their number is set to rise to 350 at the start. The maximum number of associates of 700 will be needed when the new semiconductor factory is fully utilized.
Silicon carbide power MOSFETs
By relocating ASIC production to the new semiconductor plant in Dresden (300 mm) - new ASICs will be developed for 300 mm wafers and manufactured in Dresden, while ASICs already in production for 200 mm wafers will continue to be manufactured in Reutlingen (200 mm) - Bosch not only intends to eliminate a capacity bottleneck. The production capacity in Reutlingen that will be freed up in the future is to be used for the manufacture of SiC MOSFETs. Bosch is investing a three-digit million sum in the first SiC pilot line. In 2020, the pilot line will produce the first samples of SiC MOSFETs, trench MOSFETs on 150 mm SiC wafers, which Bosch calls »T-MOS« for short. At the press conference in Dresden, in addition to the first SiC wafers, »T-MOS« chips with 9 mm2, 23 mm2, and 32 mm2 areas were also on display.
According to Bosch, it has already been developing SiC power semiconductors for ten years and has the necessary expertise. However, the SiC power MOSFETs from Reutlingen are only intended for internal use. They are processed by Bosch itself and used, for example, in power converters for the automotive industry.