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22FDX is the formula used by the Dresden chip manufacturer Globalfoundries. Ulf Brinkmann, shop steward for the IG BCE union, is also hoping for this new technology. With this, his employer wants to produce more cost-effective, high-performance and energy-efficient chips for Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things in the future and thus secure the Dresden factory, Fab1, against competition from Asia. But Brinkmann is not entirely sure, because it is already clear: Many of his colleagues will lose their jobs - despite 22FDX.

In addition, there are rumors that the investor, the Gulf emirate Abu Dhabi, which Globalfoundries took over in 2009 through its sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, wants to sell - allegedly to Chinese investors. So far there has been no comment in Dresden. But: It becomes clear how much the entire industry is in motion and how much Globalfoundries is under pressure. Rutger Wijburg, Managing Director of Globalfoundries Dresden, also says that the competition is intense. The Dutchman, who has also been managing the plant in Malta in the US state of New York since 2012, is convinced that the new technology will keep Fab1 running for the next 20 years.

Semiconductor production in Saxony about to change

Exactly 20 years ago, on December 14, 1995, the decision was made in distant California to set up another semiconductor production facility in the north of Dresden. In Sunnyvale, the US manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) announced that it would invest 1.9 billion dollars in "Silicon Saxony". A year earlier, Siemens had laid the foundation stone in Dresden for the largest chip factory in Europe to date. A lot has happened since then: What used to be Siemens is now Infineon. In 2009, the Dresden AMD chip production became the Fab1 of the contract manufacturer Globalfoundries. Around 3700 people are currently employed there - still.

Numerous medium-sized and small companies in information and communication technology have settled in the area. According to the Saxon Ministry of Economics, a total of 2200 companies secure the jobs of around 57,000 people here. "Last year alone, the cluster generated 13 billion euros in sales, which corresponds to around 13 percent of the entire manufacturing industry in Saxony," says Minister Martin Dulig (SPD).

"We lost the first half of the Internet age to Americans and Asians - the technology companies and software giants of the Internet are all not from Europe," he states. "Now it's into the second half: We have to be part of the implementation of the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, Mobility 4.0, the mobile network of the future, defend the leadership - not let ourselves be left behind."

  1. Computer scientist wanted
    The report "The job market for IT specialists", presented by the Bitkom association, is based on information from a total of 1,500 personnel and managing directors, 700 of them from ITC companies.
  2. 43,000 vacancies
    There are currently 43,000 IT positions open in Germany.
  3. ICT industry
    What is striking in the ICT industry is the rapidly growing need for project managers. In return, the demand for application supervisors / administrators has decreased.
  4. ICT industry (2)
    Cloud, big data and mobile shape the work in the ICT industry.
  5. User company
    If you ask the user companies, the picture is as follows: First and foremost are application supervisors / administrators. The user companies now also increasingly need software developers.
  6. Career changers
    Despite the shortage of skilled workers, companies give newcomers fewer and fewer opportunities. Bitkom President Thorsten Dirks appeals to decision-makers to rely more on factual ability than on formal qualifications.

Globalfoundries: 1300 jobs for new chip technology?

Wijburg believes that 22FDX can do all of this. With their extremely low energy consumption, lower heat load and smaller housing dimensions, the chips should open up undreamt-of possibilities for end products. In the past, it was first about connecting computers to one another via the Internet, then people via smartphones. "And now comes the networking of all things - be it car with car or car with transport infrastructure or be it along logistics chains," says Wijburg. The number of possible applications is infinite. "But all of them demand inexpensive, powerful and highly energy-efficient chips. We want to build them in Dresden." But for that the costs have to fall. In order to be profitable, 20 percent must be saved in employees. Up to 800 jobs are affected - by the end of January it should be clear who has to go.

In the workforce there is of course "great uncertainty," says works council chairman Ralf Adam. His works council colleague Brinkmann calculates that - including temporary workers and temporary employees - up to 1,300 colleagues could end up without a job. Neither the works council nor the company management want to comment on the current status of the negotiations. The introduction of the new 22FDX technology is also exciting for the trade unionist. "But we think the risk is simply too high if up to 1,300 people are cut." (dpa / rs / fm)

  1. Manufacturers' IoT products and strategies
    Almost every large IT manufacturer is positioning itself in the future market of the Internet of Things (IoT). Sometimes the market access is understandable, sometimes smoke candles are thrown and existing products are redefined. We give an overview of the strategies of the most important players.
  2. Microsoft
    Like over 200 other companies, the software group was until recently a member of the AllSeen alliance initiated by Qualcomm and recently switched to the newly formed Open Connectivity Foundation. Their goal is to develop a single specification or at least a common set of protocols and projects for all types of IoT devices.
  3. Microsoft
    On the client side, Windows 10 IoT Core acts as a possible operating system for industrial devices. The example shows a robot kit.
  4. Microsoft
    Microsoft provides the Azure IoT suite as a cloud platform. This already contains some preconfigured solutions for common Internet of Things scenarios. The portfolio is expanded with the acquisition of the Italian IoT start-up Solair.
  5. Amazon
    With AWS Greengrass, the portfolio extends into the edge area. IoT devices can react to local events and have a local effect on the data they generate, while the cloud continues to be used for management, analysis and permanent storage.
  6. IBM
    In March 2015, Big Blue announced that it would invest around three billion dollars in the development of an IoT division over the next four years. It should be located within the IBM Analytics division. IBM wants to develop new products and services here. In the course of this, the "IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries" was announced, on which customers and partners can design and implement industry-specific IoT solutions.
  7. Intel
    Although Intel is already well equipped for the age of wearables and IoT with its single-processor computers "Galileo" and "Edison" in the field of end devices, the company wants more of the pie. "The Internet of Things is an end-to-end topic," said Doug Fisher, vice president and general manager of Intel's Software and Services Group, on the announcement of the IoT strategy six months ago. Its core component is therefore a gateway reference design that can collect, process and translate data from sensors and other networked IoT devices.
  8. Intel
    At the center of the chip manufacturer's IoT strategy is a new generation of the "Intel IoT Gateway". Based on the IoT platform, Intel offers a roadmap for integrated hardware and software solutions. It includes API management, software services, data analytics, cloud connectivity, intelligent gateways and a product line of scalable processors with Intel architecture. Another important part of the roadmap is IT security.
  9. SAP
    The SAP IoT platform "HANA Cloud Platform for IoT" is an IoT version of the HANA Cloud Platform that has been expanded to include software for connecting and managing devices as well as data integration and analysis. The edition is integrated with SAP's already presented IoT solutions "SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service", "SAP Connected Logistics" and "Connected Manufacturing".
  10. Hewlett-Packard
    At the end of February 2015, HP presented its "HP Internet of Things Platform". The company is targeting "communications service providers" who are to be enabled to create "smart device ecosystems" - that is, to manage large amounts of networked products and end devices in their networks and to analyze the resulting data.
  11. PTC
    With the takeover of ThingWorx, the American software provider PTC was able to catch up with the circle of the most promising Internet of Things providers at the beginning of last year. With "ThingWorx" the company offers a platform for the development and commissioning of IoT applications in companies.