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EU aims to double chip manufacturing amid growing fears about ‘digital sovereignty’

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Semiconductor Production at Globalfoundries Europe Plant Semiconductor production, as shown above in GlobalFoundries’ European factory, is an extremely capital-intensive business.

The European Union wants to double its chip manufacturing output to 20 percent of the global market by 2030. The goal is part of its new Digital Compass plan, announced yesterday, which aims to boost “digital sovereignty” by funding various high-tech initiatives.

As well as doubling chip output, the EU also wants all households to have 5G access and gigabit internet connectivity by 2030; for “all key public services” to be available online in every member state; and for the bloc to have its first quantum computer. Funding for these and other projects will come from the EU’s €672.5 billion ($800 billion) coronavirus response fund, with 20 percent of this money ($160 billion) earmarked for tech investment.

The EU’s ambition to produce...

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