Greece Semiconductors Industry
Greek Semiconductor Strategy within the framework of the EU Chips Act.
The global semiconductor chip sector is a critical driver of digital transformation worldwide. Following pandemic-led supply chain issues, both the United States and Europe have realized the vulnerabilities of their dependence on foreign markets for these precious resources, given that all advanced technology chips are produced almost exclusively in Taiwan and Korea, and have implemented legislation to stimulate domestic production.
In July 2022, the U.S. Congress passed the CHIPS Act to strengthen domestic semiconductor manufacturing, design and research, in order to reinforce America’s chip supply chains. In April 2023 the European Union passed its own legislation, the EU Chips Act, which provides €43 billion to increase the production of microcircuits in Europe from 8% today to 20% by 2030. The largest volume of the EU Chips Act investments (around €32 billion euro) will go towards attracting investments from multinational companies such as Intel, Global Foundries, TSMC, ST Microelectronics.
Even though the ecosystem of companies working in microcircuits in Greece is comparatively very small and almost exclusively specialized in chip design, the country plans to leverage the EU Chips Act to further strengthen its competitive advantage and become a global microcircuit design center.
Today, a highly-skilled chip design ecosystem is growing in Greece. There are at least 15 such companies of various sizes in Greece, from start-ups to software design and development centers for large multinational companies, employing over 500 specialized design engineers of integrated circuits. Most of these companies are active in the design of specialized high-frequency chips in cutting-edge technologies (RFICs, mm-wave ICs) used in wireless communications applications or 5G/6G, while others develop design tools, circuits for video/graphics (GPUs/ video IPs), sensors based on MEMS technology and mixed analog-digital reading and processing circuits for smartwatches, industry 4.0 and IoT applications.
A prerequisite for the further development of the domestic ecosystem and the attraction of large investments from abroad is securing specialized personnel for the staffing of high-tech companies. Greece’s competitive advantage lies in its excellent human resources, where a notable number of professionals have developed specialized experience in the design and creation of integrated circuits and sensors. According to estimates, in the next five years over 500 additional specialized scientists will be needed for to keep up with the growth of Greece’s domestic chips industry.
Semiconductor Development Strategy
The further maturation and growth of the local ecosystem is necessary to make Greece more attractive for greater investments in the field of semiconductors and in the creation of chip production. According to the Hellenic Emerging Technologies Industry Association, it is strategically important that Greece develops the resources to pilot prototype manufacturing lines and acquire infrastructure for wafer-level characterization and packaging. The growth of the entire microcircuits value chain in the country will enable the acquisition of necessary skills that are currently lacking. Given Greece’s digital progress over the last three years, the country’s prospects of creating a new supply chain in the field of semiconductors (chips) are positive.
The Greek government has announced plans to create a technology hub in Athens, which would include a focus on microelectronics and semiconductors. Additionally, there are initiatives to support startups and entrepreneurship in this field, including funding and mentorship programs. The government’s intention is to support a long-term action plan involving all stakeholders as it has significant resources and capabilities in this area, both in universities and the emerging business ecosystem. According to the Ministry of Digital Governance, the government will increase capacity building by leveraging available national and European resources and taking advantage of the EU Chips Act funding tools in the coming years.
The Ministry of Digital Governance - https://mindigital.gr/
Hellenic Emerging Technologies Industry Association – HETiA: https://hetia.org/
The Federation of Hellenic ICT Enterprises (SEPE) at http://www.sepe.gr/
To learn more please contact Industry Specialist Nikos Papachryssanthopoulos at Nikos.Papachrys@trade.gov