A European Union-backed scheme to boost production of semiconductors used for 5G systems has reportedly began assessing the viability of building a factory capable of producing cutting-edge silicon with support from top global chipmakers.

Bloomberg reported citing a spokesperson from France’s finance ministry- the facility could be supported by either Samsung or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), though noted plans had not been finalised.

The aim of the mooted factory is to create chips below 10-nm, potentially as small as 2-nm, for a range of use cases including high power computing, 5G and the automotive sector.

Increasing Europe’s ability to produce its own chips is the target of a project formed by 17 European Union countries including France, Germany and Spain. It is also supported by the European Commission, which has outlined similar aims for the region.

The alliance was unveiled in December 2020 and aims to drastically increase the 10 per cent share of the €440 billion semiconductor industry estimated to be held by businesses in Europe. Members of the group agreed to coordinate national research and work on areas deemed high growth.

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