The European Union wants to better position itself in semiconductors. To achieve this goal, and thus reduce its reliance on Asia, Europe is ready to release its checkbook. Since the pandemic, demand has exploded for these components, as every electronic product needs them, from smartphones to cars.
As we mentioned in a previous article, the EU wants to increase its market share by 10 to 20% by 2030 in the production of processors. And in addition to talking to industry giants, Europe also supports its small businesses.
A French processor
And certainly, recently, the CEI (or European Innovation Council) announced an investment in a French startup that develops a European processor: SiPearl. However, it does not design a processor for smartphones or computers, but rather a component intended for supercomputers.
“Because Europe’s strategic challenges to artificial intelligence, medical research or climate change mitigation require processing exponential volumes of sensitive data in a fraction of a second, SiPearl is developing high-performance, low-power microprocessor consumption with backdoor-free security that will be the heart of European supercomputers ”explained Philippe Notton, the boss of the tricolor company.
100 million euros
SiPearl is supported by a € 2.5 million grant from the European Innovation Council, as well as an equity investment of € 15 million. This investment will be part of a Series A funding round in which SiPearl will raise more than € 100 million from other investors, including public investors.
This is the European Innovation Council’s first investment, following its restructuring under Horizon Europe law. During the pilot phase, this council has already made investments in nearly 140 startups. When the restructuring is completed, additional investments will be announced.
If Europe supports SiPearl, it will be to enable the marketing of its high -performance, low -energy -consuming processor intended for exascale supercomputing (one billion calculations per second).
“Processing large volumes of sensitive data in a fraction of a second, these microprocessors will help ensure Europe’s technological sovereignty by solving scientific, industrial and social challenges such as medical research, energy management and ‘climate change reduction’we read in the press release.
The EU has also supported this project since its inception, as SiPearl was born under the aegis of Europe’s innovation programs, as the CEO recalled.
SiPearl launched its development with € 6.2m funding in Europe. SiPearl is also preparing to conduct a meaningful round of fundraising.
Read more here: https://t.co/gKwNVOwhfW#EU #HPC #Exascale #microprocessor #supercomputer pic.twitter.com/GD0CFw4IBz
– SiPearl (@SIPEARL_SAS) February 13, 2020
Electronic chips: ambitions for 2030
In any case, the European Union’s announcements in the field of semiconductors should increase. In January, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, recalled that Europe produces only 10% of semiconductors and is mainly supplied from outside.
“It’s an addiction and an uncertainty we can’t afford”, he says. The goal is to double market share, and quadruple production (because the market size will double) by 2030.
The EU already has some assets, such as research, or materials and equipment for making chips. But now, the goal is to be a powerful player across the value chain, but not just in certain niches.