The Catalan company IDEADED will open Southern Europe’s largest private semiconductor cleanroom with a surface area of 500 m² in Viladecans (Barcelona).
The President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, along with the Minister of Business and Labour, Roger Torrent, and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Natàlia Mas, visited IDEADED’s facilities and met with the company's executives this morning to learn about their growth plans in Catalonia.
The company has invested 12 million euros in this new clean room, which will be operational in early 2023.
These facilities will be used for the continuous development, testing, and production of short microchips series designed by IDEADED (between 5 and 20 million units per year).
Throughout 2023, in an initial phase, the company will hire 100 highly qualified workers, mainly engineers and profiles related to the development of materials and processes for producing thin films, as well as technology modeling.
Once this project phase is completed, the company plans to expand the cleanroom to 2,500 m². Setting up this facility would involve an investment of up to 200 million euros and the creation of some 500 jobs in Catalonia.
During the event, President Aragonès announced that the Catalan Government would grant a 6-million-euro loan to the company as well as a grant of a further 217,488 euros as part of the reindustrialization process of the General Directorate of Industry in support of this project, which the Government considers highly strategic for Catalonia.
This project is also supported by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, the agency for business competitiveness belonging to the Ministry of Business and Labour.
The company initiated its R&D process to produce its own microchips in 2015. One of their technology’s distinguishing features is that the semiconductors they have developed are not produced using silicon – the most commonly used resource by most sector companies – but are based on other organic materials, which allows them to cut production costs while at the same time guaranteeing the highest quality standards.
IDEADED is currently focused on chip development for the Internet of Things and Internet of Everything (IoT/IoE) and is closing agreements with large global companies in sectors such as telecommunications, retail, and automotive.
For his part, IDEADED’s CEO, Eduard Puig, highlighted this morning that "there is a lot of talent in the country, with an enormous capacity to develop disruptive technologies, which today are mostly developed abroad: until now, Catalan professionals in this sector have had to go to work in other countries".
"Apart from serving companies that today are suffering from different logistics problems to source chips due to the current international situation, in IDEADED we are also open to collaborating with our top-level facilities to help make this technological ecosystem a reality in our country," he stressed.
Puig assured that "policies to support deep tech technologies such as those led by the Government and continued over time will allow building a class-leading international technological hub, with all the benefits that this represents."
The new cleanroom is part of IDEADED’s facilities in Viladecans, which cover a total area of some 7,000 m², with production and manufacturing zones and office space.
IDEADED was set up in Girona in 2015. Since its start, it has focused on promoting R&D. As part of its expansion plans, the company initially moved to a plant in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat until it acquired its current premises in Viladecans around a year ago.
The company presently has some thirty employees, 90% of whom have a doctorate.
Catalonia and semiconductors
The Government of Catalonia considers this type of project will substantially impact accelerating semiconductor-related R&D activity in Catalonia, as well as boosting local industry and attracting new foreign investment projects in this sector.
It is a type of investment with a lot of international competition and will help guarantee technological sovereignty and both Europe’s and Catalonia’s reindustrialization.
The launching of this project by IDEADED is just one more of recent investments such as that of the North American companies Cisco, which has chosen the Catalan capital to open the first semiconductor design center in the European Union, and Monolithic Power Systems, which will create 150 new skilled jobs by expanding its presence in Catalonia.
A recent Intel project is also noteworthy, with the company opening a microchip laboratory in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS).