Thuringia: Semiconductor industry established in Erfurt: X-Fab is growing

In the early 1990s, the existence of the semiconductor industry in Erfurt was at stake.

Thuringia: Semiconductor industry established in Erfurt: X-Fab is growing

In the early 1990s, the existence of the semiconductor industry in Erfurt was at stake. She made a successful restart. With X-Fab there is an internationally operating circuit manufacturer.

Erfurt (dpa/th) - No e-car drives without a lot of tiny electronic components: The Erfurt-based semiconductor manufacturer X-Fab, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is benefiting from the boom in electromobility and medical technology. Like other chipmakers, the company is feeling high demand, which even necessitated the allocation of capacity in the second quarter. X-Fab is in close contact with its customers to ensure supply chain stability, said managing director Gabriel Kittler.

X-Fab is not a mass manufacturer of processors or memory chips, but specializes in circuits that are manufactured to order for customers primarily from the automotive, medical technology and industrial sectors. They function as a sort of interface between the analog and the digital world. The range also includes sensors for a wide variety of applications. "In this area, we are among the top twelve worldwide and the largest provider with a European owner," said Kittler.

As an example of the use of X-Fab semiconductors, Kittler named assistance systems in cars, but also tire pressure sensors or technical systems that enable visibility in fog.

The X-Fab Group, which has factories in Erfurt and Dresden as well as in France, where X-Fab is listed on the stock exchange, in Malaysia and the USA, employs more than 4,000 people. In Erfurt, where it has its roots, there are currently around 850 employees. Around half a billion US dollars (currently around 510 million euros) have been invested in the Thuringian location since 1992. There are 450 employees in Dresden. There is also a smaller location in Itzehoe.

The company, which has been owned by a Belgian investment company for many years, has grown through the takeover of semiconductor factories. "Buying factories, not building them, is our motto," says the managing director of the Erfurt site. A special feature is the Thuringian location, where the factories have been integrated into an existing building complex.

A number of management functions would be performed from Erfurt for the group with its holding company in Belgium. The production capacities at the Thuringian site, which is strong in the sensor business, were not expanded until 2021, said Kittler.

Major international players in the semiconductor industry include the US chip giant Intel, the Taiwanese group TSMC and the German company Infineon. X-Fab's direct competitors that operate to order manufacturing in their clean room factories include Globalfoundries and Samsung.

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