Mapping of the Global Semiconductor Supply Chain

Embedding Austria in the Global Semiconductor Inter-firm Network

This report delves into regional roles in the global semiconductor supply chain against the backdrop of significant global initiatives to incentivise the production of semiconductors, to secure availability for applications, to promote innovation and prepare for future chip supply crises. Leveraging a model of the stylised semiconductor value chain, combined with comprehensive trade data, and employing large-scale data-mining techniques, the study classifies and maps over 20,000 semiconductor companies to their positions in the extended value chain (chip production and application). The results reveal that the USA and China occupy almost complementary value chain segments while the EU's comparative strengths concentrate in semiconductor production equipment next to intermediate and final electronics for industrial applications. Austria emerges with a concentration in specific value chain segments and a diversified presence in a range of application domains. Austria has noteworthy capabilities in wafer fabrication, providing equipment and tools for core sub-processes such as lithography, etching, and packaging next to services such as design automation. Regarding semiconductor applications, Austria focuses particularly on various industrial applications such as sensors, encompassing security, RFID, and imaging applications, power electronics, or advanced product design. Notably, Austria's strengths extend to applications within the automotive industry, where opportunities might arise with the shift to electric vehicles. Opportunities for Austria lie also in focusing on segments with increasing exclusivity and importance (such as advanced packaging) and combining low capital expenditure with high value add, particularly in chip design and equipment/tools segments. However, the report highlights potential weaknesses on a European level, such as dependencies on external segments and a lack of domestic production in certain areas. In conclusion, both the strategic role and potential opportunities for Austria's semiconductor industry lie in the linkage with related industries and its significant role and strong capabilities in specific segments of the global semiconductor value chain.