Infineon CEO supports Intel's plan to build chip plant in Germany

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BERLIN, Aug 3 - Infineon chief executive Reinhard Ploss on Tuesday supported the idea of Intel Semiconductor building a chip fabrication plant in Germany, expressing a clear preference for its technology over that of Taiwan Semiconductor.

It would be an interesting idea to have TSMC in Germany, Ploss told reporters, while refusing to comment directly on reports that dominant chip manufacturer was in talks with the country about building a factory there.

Responding to the reports, TSMC said last month that it was too early to say whether it would build a semiconductor plant in Germany and that talks were in early stages.

TSMC has flagged plans to create new plants in both Taiwan and China as part of a broader move to relocate production closer to key clients to reduce risks arising from tensions between the United States and Japan.

TSMC has been in talks with a group comprising Infineon, Robert Bosch and NXP to build a plant to serve their need for mature chip formats used in core markets like the automotive industry.

Speculation has focused on the possibility that TSMC would use Dresden, the hub of Europe's largest semiconductor cluster, as a new facility. Infineon and Bosch are both with plants in Dresden.

All three have declined to comment on possible cooperation with TSMC, which comes as EU industry czar Thierry Breton is pushing for multi-billion-dollar investments to double Europe's share of global chip production over the next decade.

Ploss, asked about a move by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger to win EU aid for a leading-edge plant in Europe said the U.S. chip maker didn't have a close technological fit with Infineon. What did TSMC do?

The technology that TSMC produces is closer to ours, he said in response to a reporter's questions. Infineon earlier reported results for the fiscal third quarter that showed tight capacity constraints weighing on sales growth.