Infineon boss: price increase against chip shortage | heise online


“We will increase the prices or have already increased them,” explains Reinhard Ploss, CEO of the chip manufacturer Infineon in an interview with the magazine Wirtschaftswoche. To justify the measure, the manager argues that Infineon itself is struggling with increased production costs, not least because it cannot manufacture all of the chips itself.

And therefore having to resort to more expensive alternatives, is probably the unspoken chain of thought. Infineon is primarily represented on the market with complex assemblies, for example for device control in motor vehicles, but purchases numerous microcontrollers, radio chips and image sensors from suppliers in the Far East.

Ploss in the Wirtschaftswoche interview According to the automotive industry has got used to the fact that it can buy electronic components very cheaply and, with the depressed prices, has destroyed many incentives to expand production capacities for products. Already three months ago, Infineon managers expressed criticism at an analyst conference that chip contract manufacturers were concentrating primarily on CPUs, GPUs and SoCs (systems-on-chip) with seven- and five-nanometer structures for smartphones, where high profit margins were being made Curls. However, they would have underestimated the imminent demand for automotive-relevant chips with coarser structures.

Experts like Jan-Peter Kleinhans also recommend a strategy that Infineon is pursuing: itself in Europe to focus on the design of state-of-the-art components and tend to outsource production to cheaper suppliers. This is opposed by the EU’s considerations to build up European production capacities in cooperation with Infineon competitor Intel.

Intel does it differently than Infineon: It mainly produces the required chips itself and wants to in the future even accept third-party production orders, announced Intel manager Michelle Johnston Holthaus in May. But even that does not seem to offer a panacea for delivery bottlenecks, because Intel, for its part, is dependent on Japanese insulating film that is difficult to obtain for the production of semiconductor wafers.


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