Silicon Box to invest $3.5 billion in new chip plant in Italy

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The Singapore-based semiconductor firm Silicon Box has announced that it is to invest $3.5bn in a new plant in northern Italy under a deal backed by the Italian government.

While the exact site for the plant has yet to be decided several locations are said to be available. The Italian government will also need the European Commission's approval for planned financial aid.

Silicon Box, a three-year old startup created by the founders of Marvell, is an advanced panel-level packaging foundry and this new facility will help meet demand for advanced packaging capacity to enable next generation technologies. 

The multi-year investment will replicate Silicon Box’s flagship foundry in Singapore which has proven capability and capacity for advanced semiconductor packaging solutions and will then expand further into 3D integration and testing. 

When completed, the new facility will support approximately 1,600 Silicon Box employees in Italy.

Silicon Box’s manufacturing process is based on panel-level-production; a first-of-its-kind combination that is already shipping product to customers from its Singapore foundry.

Through the investment, Silicon Box has plans for greater innovation and expansion in Europe, and globally.  The new integrated production facility is expected to serve as a catalyst for broader ecosystem investments and innovation in Italy, as well as the rest of the European Union.

“This investment will enhance competitive strengths in design, artificial intelligence (AI), large language models (LLMs), electronic vehicles (EVs) and automotive, mobile, wearables, smart consumer, edge computing, and material sciences of the Italian ecosystem, and revolutionise Europe’s position in the global [semiconductors] supply chain,” said Dr. Sehat Sutardja, co-founder and Chairman of Silicon Box.

Silicon Box specialises in advanced chiplet integration capabilities (advanced packaging), on a large manufacturing format for scale. The chiplet concept is an alternative to traditional semiconductor manufacturing, which is focused on building entire systems-on-chips (SoCs) on silicon wafers, then moving to conventional packaging processes.

Chiplets involve the manufacture of individual system modalities as standalone chips or chiplets on a wafer, these separate functionalities are then integrated into a system through advanced packaging, creating a system-in-package (SiPs). 

“Silicon Box’s new foundry in Italy will be able to accept wafers from all foundries and support a wide variety of customers, worldwide, through its innovative approach,” said Mike Han, Silicon Box’s Head of Business. “The location is well suited to work with Europe’s existing and planned semiconductor wafer fabrication clusters in Italy, Germany, and France. 

“Proximity will enable close collaboration from design through to final manufacturing and help increase resilience and cost efficiency of the European and global semiconductor supply chain, at a time when there is a global shortage for this type of technology.”