It’s something that affects nearly every company. An aging society and labor shortages are social trends that are shaping the 21st century. “Bosch is facing up to these challenges as a committed employer: we’re focusing on training and upskilling as well as on intelligent technology that makes associates’ work easier,” says Stefan Grosch, member of the Bosch board of management and director of industrial relations. In 2022, the company offered more than 30,000 training seminars worldwide, with more than 520,000 Bosch associates taking part.
One focus was technological expertise. More than 130,000 participants were able to acquire knowledge in technologies of the future such as electromobility, software engineering, and Industry 4.0. “Looking at the metrics for the first half of the year, we expect to train around 50 percent more Bosch participants in 2023 than we did the year before,” Grosch says.
This commitment to training does not end at the company’s own factory gates. With academies, training centers, and training courses, Bosch also offers other companies, customers, and interested parties the opportunity to acquire knowledge. On the subject of Industry 4.0, for example, the company makes more than 100 Bosch training programs on digitalization and connectivity in manufacturing available externally through Bosch Connected Industry, Bosch Rexroth, and training institutes.
“Bosch is facing up to these challenges as a committed employer: we’re focusing on training and upskilling as well as on intelligent technology that makes associates’ work easier,”says Stefan Grosch, member of the Bosch board of management and director of industrial relations.
According to the European Commission, three-quarters of companies in the EU report difficulties in finding qualified workers, and only 37 percent of adults engage in regular further professional development. “Bosch promotes lifelong learning. This is the key to lasting professional and business success,” Grosch says. It is also essential for a country’s economic output. “If we want to maintain prosperity in Germany and remain successful as an exporting and industrial nation, we must invest even more in upskilling and intelligent technology and actively encourage people to enroll,” Grosch says. Bosch offers all associates the opportunity for professional development.
In 2022, Bosch associates attended one to two training courses on average; in addition, they completed two to three web-based courses. Roughly 6,000 seminars deal with technologies of the future. Lasting an average of two days, these seminars are particularly thorough. Digitalization often determines not only the topic and content of training courses, but also their form: in 2022, online courses accounted for two-thirds of all training hours for Bosch associates.
“Digitalization is becoming a training booster for companies and their workforce; it enables learning independent of place and time and gives people a chance to experience new technologies such as artificial intelligence firsthand,” says Bosch CDO and member of the board of management Dr. Tanja Rückert. Last year alone, Bosch spent some 300 million euros on professional development for its associates. “At Bosch, we develop technology that is ‘Invented for life.’ To do that, we need the right team with talented people in all positions, and we need them to continuously improve and expand their skills,” Grosch says.
“Digitalization is becoming a training booster for companies and their workforce; it enables learning independent of place and time and gives people a chance to experience new technologies such as artificial intelligence firsthand,”says Bosch CDO and member of the board of management Dr. Tanja Rückert.
The labor shortage comes at a cost. The Boston Consulting Group estimates the loss in potential output for the German economy to be 86 billion euros. The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry puts it even higher, at just under 100 billion euros – annually. In an international comparison of the nations with the strongest economies, the losses suffered by the German economy are the second highest after the United States. “In the competition for the best talent, companies have to put everything on the line. A future-oriented corporate approach also means identifying vocational training and professional development opportunities and offering them to the workforce. Having highly qualified personnel is a decisive competitive advantage,” Grosch says.
As a manufacturer and technology company, Bosch pays close attention to professional development for its associates in manufacturing operations. This year, for example, its mobility business launched the LernWerk initiative to train 24,000 associates in readiness for the digital transformation, initially at German sites. “Manufacturing is where value creation begins in our company. This is where we lay the foundation for business success. Our progressive and efficient manufacturing operations feature an impressive degree of connectivity and digitalization. One important prerequisite for this is ensuring associates receive the necessary training,” Rückert says.
As part of Bosch’s training program for other companies, its Industry 4.0 courses are additionally offered in Germany and elsewhere through partners such as chambers of industry and commerce, colleges, and universities: “From France and the Czech Republic to China, India, and Singapore, companies are training their manufacturing workers according to the German model. Bosch is one of the Industry 4.0 pioneers, and we are sharing our knowledge all around the world. Industry 4.0 training ‘made in Germany’ is becoming the global standard,” Rückert says.
In addition to vocational training and professional development programs, Bosch develops training systems that are compatible with the syllabuses of industrial and educational institutions. Bosch Rexroth is launching its new Automax 600 training system. Using internationally standardized programming languages and open interfaces, this gives users practical experience of the digitalization of production processes – including controlling robotic systems, operating autonomous transport systems, and using cloud applications such as data analysis and machine learning based on artificial intelligence.
There are various remedies for labor shortages. One is vocational training and professional development, and visa programs for skilled workers are another. And technology also has a key role to play. Bosch Rexroth, for example, has developed an automation solution that no longer requires any previous specialist knowledge of automation. Users of ctrlX Automation can choose from over 30 popular programming languages. The company is taking a similar approach to hydraulics: In the future, customers can use H4U to integrate Bosch Rexroth software into the automation architecture they are already familiar with, eliminating the need to build up their own hydraulics expertise.
“By opening up systems, making technology interoperable, and moving hardware applications into software, we reduce complexity and dependencies, such as on specialists,” Rückert says. Moreover, technology makes life easier for workers whose tasks are monotonous, strenuous, or hazardous. Robotics supports loading and palletizing, artificial intelligence helps with the optical inspection of workpieces, augmented reality guides through work processes, and driverless transport systems take goods directly to where they are needed.
“Only by increasing productivity can we manage the impact of an aging society. This calls for well-trained specialists, as well as technology that allows them to work rationally and efficiently. The interplay between humans and machines and between training and digitalization is a key success factor,” Grosch says.
Original – Bosch
LATEST NEWS / PROJECTS / TOP STORIES4 Min Read
TSMC, Robert Bosch GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG, and NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced a plan to jointly invest in European Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (ESMC) GmbH, in Dresden, Germany to provide advanced semiconductor manufacturing services. ESMC marks a significant step towards construction of a 300 mm fab to support the future capacity needs of the fast-growing automotive and industrial sectors, with the final investment decision pending confirmation of the level of public funding for this project. The project is planned under the framework of the European Chips Act.
The planned fab is expected to have a monthly production capacity of 40,000 300 mm (12-inch) wafers on TSMC’s 28/22 nanometer planar CMOS and 16/12 nanometer FinFET process technology, further strengthening Europe’s semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem with advanced FinFET transistor technology and creating about 2,000 direct high-tech professional jobs. ESMC aims to begin construction of the fab in the second half of 2024 with production targeted to begin by the end of 2027.
The planned joint venture will be 70 percent owned by TSMC, with Bosch, Infineon, and NXP each holding 10 percent equity stake, subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions. Total investments are expected to exceed 10 billion euros consisting of equity injection, debt borrowing, and strong support from the European Union and German government. The fab will be operated by TSMC.
“This investment in Dresden demonstrates TSMC’s commitment to serving our customers’ strategic capacity and technology needs, and we are excited at this opportunity to deepen our long-standing partnership with Bosch, Infineon, and NXP,” said Dr. CC Wei, Chief Executive Officer of TSMC. “Europe is a highly promising place for semiconductor innovation, particularly in the automotive and industrial fields, and we look forward to bringing those innovations to life on our advanced silicon technology with the talent in Europe.”
Dr. Stefan Hartung, chairman of the Bosch board of management: “Semiconductors are not only a crucial success factor for Bosch. Their reliable availability is also of great importance for the success of the global automotive industry. Apart from continuously expanding our own manufacturing facilities, we further secure our supply chains as an automotive supplier through close cooperation with our partners. With TSMC, we are pleased to gain a global innovation leader to strengthen the semiconductor ecosystem in the direct vicinity of our semiconductor plant in Dresden.”
“Semiconductors are not only a crucial success factor for Bosch. Their reliable availability is also of great importance for the success of the global automotive industry. Apart from continuously expanding our own manufacturing facilities, we further secure our supply chains as an automotive supplier through close cooperation with our partners. With TSMC, we are pleased to gain a global innovation leader to strengthen the semiconductor ecosystem in the direct vicinity of our semiconductor plant in Dresden.”said Dr. Stefan Hartung, chairman of the Bosch board of management
“Our joint investment is an important milestone to bolster the European semiconductor ecosystem. With this, Dresden is strengthening its position as one of the world’s most important semiconductor hubs that is already home to Infineon’s largest frontend site,” said Jochen Hanebeck, CEO of Infineon Technologies. “Infineon will use the new capacity to serve the growing demand particularly of its European customers, especially in automotive and IoT. The advanced capabilities will provide a basis for developing innovative technologies, products and solutions to address the global challenges of decarbonization and digitalisation.”
“NXP is very committed to strengthening innovation and supply chain resilience in Europe,” said Kurt Sievers, President and CEO of NXP Semiconductors. “We thank the European Union, Germany, and the Free State of Saxony for their recognition of the semiconductor industry’s critical role and for their true commitment to boost Europe’s chip ecosystem. The construction of this new and significant semiconductor foundry will add much needed innovation and capacity for the range of silicon required to supply the sharply increasing digitalization and electrification of the automotive and industrial sectors.”
Original – Bosch
LATEST NEWS / PROJECTS / TOP STORIES3 Min Read
Semiconductor industry players Robert Bosch GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP® Semiconductors, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., have come together to jointly invest in a company aimed at advancing the adoption of RISC-V globally by enabling next-generation hardware development.
Formed in Germany, this company will aim to accelerate the commercialization of future products based on the open-source RISC-V architecture. The company will be a single source to enable compatible RISC-V based products, provide reference architectures, and help establish solutions widely used in the industry. Initial application focus will be automotive, but with an eventual expansion to include mobile and IoT.
At its core, RISC-V encourages innovation, allowing any company to develop cutting-edge, customized hardware based on an open-source instruction set. Further adoption of the RISC-V technology will promote even more diversity in the electronics industry – reducing the barriers to entry for smaller and emergent companies and enabling increased scalability for established companies.
The company calls on industry associations, leaders, and governments, to join forces in support of this initiative which will help increase the resilience of the broader semiconductor ecosystem.
The company formation will be subject to regulatory approvals in various jurisdictions.
- Robert Bosch GmbH
“Bosch is convinced that initiatives promoting the RISC-V open specifications will bring the global mobility market a significant step further. The initiative now planned will greatly help to establish a reliable and efficient EU-based semiconductor ecosystem,” said Jens Fabrowsky, Executive Vice President at Bosch and responsible for the semiconductor business.
- Infineon Technologies AG
“As vehicles become software-defined and dependability requirements increase due to electrification and connectivity, for example, as well as through trends like autonomous driving, there is a general need for standardization and ecosystem compatibility across the industry, with CPUs being a key IP. We are proud to support the establishment of trusted RISC-V based automotive products with this initiative. The knowledge and expertise of leading market players will unleash the full potential of RISC-V in the automotive sector,” said Peter Schiefer, Division President of Infineon’s Automotive Division.
- Nordic Semiconductor
“Nordic Semiconductor is a committed and enthusiastic supporter of the RISC-V initiative and stands ready to drive the project forward. Nordic’s IoT solutions represent the leading edge of low power wireless technology and to retain that position it’s critical we maintain continuous access to efficient and powerful embedded microprocessors. An open collaboration with like-minded companies to continually enhance innovative RISC-V microprocessor IP and ensure a robust and reliable supply of the technology is the ideal answer to this challenge,” said Svein-Egil Nielsen, CTO/EVP R&D and Strategy, Nordic Semiconductor.
- NXP Semiconductors
“NXP is proud to be part of a new EU-based joint endeavor to pioneer fully certified RISC-V-based IP and architectures, initially for the automotive industry. The creation of a one-stop-shop ecosystem where customers can select turnkey assets will strengthen the adoption of RISC-V across many European industries,” said Lars Reger, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at NXP Semiconductors. “We thank the Artificial Intelligence Center Hamburg (ARIC) e.V. for their support of this collaboration.”
- Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
“We are excited to come together with other industry players to drive the expansion of the RISC-V ecosystem through development of next-generation hardware. Qualcomm Technologies has been investing in RISC-V for more than five years and we’ve integrated RISC-V micro-controllers into many of our commercial platforms. We believe RISC-V’s open-source instruction set will increase innovation and has the potential to transform the industry,” Ziad Asghar, Senior Vice President of Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
Original – Infineon Technologies
Global demand for chips for the automotive and consumer goods industries remains high. That is why Bosch is continuing to expand its semiconductor business. The company has now opened a new test center for chips and sensors in Penang, Malaysia, at a cost of some 65 million euros; it plans to invest a further 285 million euros at the site by the middle of the next decade.
“With our new semiconductor test center in Penang, we are creating additional capacity within our worldwide manufacturing network to meet the continued high demand for chips and sensors,” said Dr. Stefan Hartung, chairman of the Bosch board of management. “Semiconductors are a decisive success factor for all Bosch business areas, and the expansion of this business is strategically very important.”
In total, Bosch has some 100,000 square meters of land available on Penang’s mainland strip. The new test center currently covers more than 18,000 square meters and includes clean rooms, office space, and laboratories for quality assurance and manufacturing. By the middle of the next decade, up to 400 associates will be working there. With the new factory and a total of 4,200 associates, Penang is now Bosch’s biggest location in Southeast Asia.
Semiconductor manufacturing can basically be divided into two sections: frontend manufacturing and backend manufacturing. For the latter, Malaysia is an important hub in the global semiconductor supply chain. The country is estimated to cover around 13 percent of global backend manufacturing. According to official figures, in recent years the state of Penang has generated more than 5 percent of worldwide semiconductor revenue.
“The new test center in Penang brings our manufacturing network closer to the companies that serve the further value chain of semiconductor manufacturing as well as to customers in this important Asian market. That shortens delivery times and routes, and it improves our competitiveness,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of the Mobility business sector.
The frontend is where the actual circuits are attached and patterned on the wafers; at Bosch, for example, this work is currently performed in the clean rooms of the wafer fabs in Reutlingen and Dresden. The backend is where the individual chips are then separated from the wafers, assembled, and tested. Bosch currently carries out most of the final testing of its semiconductors in Reutlingen, Germany; Suzhou, China; and Hatvan, Hungary.
Those locations will now be joined by the new test center in Penang, Malaysia. The fully connected plant is one of the most advanced semiconductor test centers in Southeast Asia. Here, Bosch will immediately begin testing semiconductors that the company manufactures at its frontend in Dresden, among other locations. “Our new test center in Penang completes our internal process chain, especially for semiconductors from Dresden,” Heyn says.
Bosch is pursuing a global growth strategy with its semiconductor business. Over the next three years, the company plans to invest some three billion euros in Dresden and Reutlingen, both as part of its own investment plan and under the auspices of the European IPCEI ME/CT (“Important Project of Common European Interest on Microelectronics and Communication Technologies”) funding program.
Following its expected acquisition of part of the business of TSI Semiconductors, based in Roseville, California, which is expected before the end of the year, Bosch plans to invest roughly an additional 1.4 billion euros in retooling the fab to support the latest manufacturing processes for silicon carbide semiconductors.
Original – Bosch
LATEST NEWS / PROJECTS / SiC / TOP STORIES / WBG5 Min Read
Bosch is expanding its semiconductor business with silicon carbide chips. The technology company plans to acquire assets of the U.S. chipmaker TSI Semiconductors, based in Roseville, California. With a workforce of 250, the company is a foundry for application-specific integrated circuits, or ASICs. Currently, it mainly develops and produces large volumes of chips on 200-millimeter silicon wafers for applications in the mobility, telecommunications, energy, and life sciences industries. Over the next years, Bosch intends to invest more than 1.5 billion USD in the Roseville site and convert the TSI Semiconductors manufacturing facilities to state-of-the-art processes. Starting in 2026, the first chips will be produced on 200-millimeter wafers based on the innovative material silicon carbide (SiC).
In this way, Bosch is systematically reinforcing its semiconductor business, and will have significantly extended its global portfolio of SiC chips by the end of 2030. Above all, the global boom and ramp-up of electromobility are resulting in huge demand for such special semiconductors. The full scope of the planned investment will be heavily dependent on federal funding opportunities available via the CHIPS and Science Act as well as economic development opportunities within the State of California. Bosch and TSI Semiconductors have reached an agreement to not to disclose any financial details of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval.
“With the acquisition of TSI Semiconductors, we are establishing manufacturing capacity for SiC chips in an important sales market while also increasing our semiconductor manufacturing, globally. The existing clean-room facilities and expert personnel in Roseville will allow us to manufacture SiC chips for electromobility on an even larger scale,” says Dr. Stefan Hartung, the chairman of the Bosch board of management. “The location in Roseville has existed since 1984. Over nearly 40 years, the U.S. company has built up vast expertise in semiconductor production. We will now be integrating this expertise into the Bosch semiconductor manufacturing network,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector. “We are pleased to join a globally operating technology company with extensive semiconductor expertise. We are confident that our Roseville location will be a significant addition to Bosch’s SiC chipmaking operations,” says Oded Tal, CEO at TSI Semiconductors.
The new location in Roseville will reinforce Bosch’s international semiconductor manufacturing network. Starting in 2026, following a retooling phase, first SiC chips will be produced on 200-millimeter wafers in a facility offering roughly 10,000 square meters of clean-room space. At an early stage, Bosch invested in the development and production of SiC chips. Since 2021, it has been using its own proprietary, highly complex processes to mass-produce them at its Reutlingen location near Stuttgart. In the future, Reutlingen will also produce them on 200-millimeters wafers. By the end of 2025, the company will have extended its clean-room space in Reutlingen from roughly 35,000 to more than 44,000 square meters. “SiC chips are a key component for electrified mobility. By extending our semiconductor operations internationally, we are strengthening our local presence in an important electric vehicle market,” Heyn says.
Demand for chips for the automotive industry remains high. By 2025, Bosch expects to have an average of 25 of its chips integrated in every new vehicle. The market for SiC chips is also continuing to grow fast – by 30 percent a year on average. The main drivers of this growth are the global boom and ramp-up of electromobility. In electric vehicles, SiC chips enable greater range and more efficient recharging, as they use up to 50 percent less energy. Installed in these vehicles’ power electronics, they ensure that a vehicle can drive a significantly longer distance on one battery charge – on average, the possible range is 6 percent greater than with silicon-based chips.
Semiconductors are key to the success of all Bosch business areas. The company recognized the potential of this technology early on, and has been producing semiconductors for more than 60 years. Bosch is one of the few companies to have not only electronic and software expertise but also a profound understanding of microelectronics. It can combine this decisive competitive advantage with its strength in semiconductor manufacturing. The supplier of technology and services has been manufacturing semiconductors in Reutlingen since 1970. They are used both in the automotive sphere and in consumer electronics. Modern electronics in vehicles is also the basis for reducing traffic emissions, preventing road accidents, and efficient powertrains. Production at the Bosch wafer fab in Dresden (300-millimeter wafers) started in July 2021. At nearly one billion euros, the wafer fab is the biggest single investment in the company’s history.
In its wafer fabs in Reutlingen and Dresden, Bosch has invested more than 2.5 billion euros in total since 200-millimeter technology was introduced in 2010. On top of this, billions of euros have been invested in developing microelectronics. Independently of the investment now planned in the United States, the company announced in summer last year that it will be investing a further 3 billion euros in its semiconductor business in Europe, both as part of its investment planning and with the aid of the EU’s “Important Project of Common European Interest on Microelectronics and Communication Technologies” program.
Original – Bosch