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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Daily Report: STMicro in Public-Private Venture to Develop Chips in France

STMicroelectronics, the largest chip maker in Europe, said Monday that it planned to invest almost 2 billion euros in conjunction with the French government to develop a new line of microprocessors for smartphones, TV set-top boxes and home routers, Kevin J. O’Brien reports.

The market for such chips is expected to grow to 67 billion euros this year, according to World Semiconductor Trade Statistics, an industry research organization in San Jose, Calif. The investment would allow STMicro to double its production capacity of such chips at its factory in Crolles, France, potentially making it a stiffer rival to Broadcom, Texas Instruments, Infineon Technologies and Sony.

STMicro, which is based in Geneva, said it planned to spend 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) through 2017 on new research and development and to expand chip production at Crolles, a town near Grenoble in the French Alps.

France, along with regional and municipal governments in and around Crolles, would contribute 600 million euros to the project, which is part of an industry the government is eager to promote.

France and Italy hold a combined 27.5 percent stake in STMicro, making them the biggest shareholders in the chip maker.

A spokesman for the company, Alexis Breton, said that most of the investment would be used to develop faster and more efficient chips for TV set-top boxes, smartphones and routers to control home security, heating, air and entertainment systems wirelessly.