The transformation towards a digital society is in full swing. The need for high-performance IC substrates and modules is growing equally fast. As a globally leading supplier in this segment, AT&S serves this demand, accelerates solutions by boosting innovation and actively contributes to shaping digital transformation.
SEMICONDUCTOR BOOM: Driverless cars, mobile devices, smart diagnostics and Industry 4.0: There is barely an area of everyday life which is not touched by digital change – a development AT&S strongly benefits from in different markets. After all, our products ensure that components such as microchips can do their job in the first place. The IC substrate segment offers particularly significant growth potential: high-tech elements acting as a connection between processors and the rest of the system in computers. They serve the skyrocketing demand for processing power in many ways because they are employed both in the connected devices and in the data centres required for processing.
By working with industry market leaders and through constant, leading-edge research and development, AT&S ensures that growing data volumes can always be processed fast, efficiently and sustainably. In addition, we are part of the strategic European IPCEI programme and the European Chip Act Initiative. And we will help shape this growth process even more actively in the future: in the medium term, we will invest a record € 3 billion in expanding our capacities in Chongqing/China, in Kulim/Malaysia and at our headquarters in Leoben/Austria. By 2026, AT&S will be one of the world’s three largest ABF substrate suppliers.
PANDEMIC ROUTINE REQUIRES SMART INFRASTRUCTURE.
Work at home, learn at home, play at home: During the coronavirus pandemic, the number of connected devices and the need for digital communication increased rapidly as video conferences and remote working became indispensable in many cases. Two examples: in 2021, the number of laptops shot up 19% year-on-year, reaching a historic high of 257 million units. Gaming consoles saw an even sharper increase of 27% year-on-year.
The coronavirus pandemic triggered a global boost in digitalisation, especially within companies. Remote working, virtual meetings and digital sales posed new challenges that required rapid responses. New working models emerged and will largely be retained. Many companies have now introduced a “hybrid” mode, i.e., a combination of office and remote work. And the readiness for digital transformation continues unabated. Solutions by AT&S make a significant contribution to providing the data infrastructure necessary for all of these developments.
Data infrastructure is also the buzzword in the Automotive segment. Here, the topics of electrification and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) moved the world in 2021. The spread of electric vehicles accelerated considerably, and the introduction of the first car that meets the strict legal requirements for a level 3 ADAS was an important step towards autonomous driving. Whether at home, at work or on the road: AT&S connects the digital future.
(More) space for progress
EXPANSION AT THE HEADQUARTERS: In view of the ongoing boom in demand for microelectronics and ever new performance requirements for electronic systems, we will focus even more strongly on research and development in the future. At the location in Leoben-Hinterberg, we are building a new research & development centre for substrate and advanced packaging solutions for the global semiconductor industry. In addition, there will be another technology upgrade of the production facilities and a new AT&S headquarters building. Investments totalling € 500 million are planned up until 2025. “Leoben is the central hub of AT&S. Starting here, the company has evolved into a global group and is one of the most important players in the field of high-end printed circuit boards and IC substrates today,” says Hannes Androsch, Chairman of the AT&S Supervisory Board. Leoben already produces precursors for IC substrates, which will be processed into high-quality finished products at the production sites in Chongqing/China, and in the future also in Kulim/Malaysia.
Going forward, the company will address not only customers in the high-end semiconductor segment with substrates made in Leoben, but also international research institutions. “We are the only manufacturer of substrates who will produce in Europe. This is where AT&S shows what is possible for European companies in the semiconductor industry. Based on state-of-the-art technology, the new facilities allow us to supply our customers with even more innovative solutions for future generations of their products,” says AT&S CEO Andreas Gerstenmayer.
This is an exciting task, which will be performed by significantly more employees in the future. The expansion of the parent plant will lead to an increase in the number of employees to some 2,500. A true challenge for AT&S as an employer ‒ and for the region. Approximately 700 additional employees will be needed by 2025, for example engineers in different disciplines, skilled workers and university graduates for business and technology departments as well as qualified specialists. Read more on this topic.