AUSTIN, Texas — Austin semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies this week announced that it is switching the operation of its local factory to 100% renewable power.
"Infineon will use certified renewable power from Austin Energy that is sourced from local wind farms in Texas," Vice President of Operations Steve James said. "It means a little extra cost for us, but we really think that's important just to show how important it is to the planet to start to transfer to green."
Infineon said it was one of the first semiconductor companies to set a carbon neutrality goal for its global operations at the beginning of 2020. Last year, it switched its entire electricity consumption in Europe to green electricity.
“We are very pleased to announce the next step of converting our largest North American fab to green energy as part of our global effort to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2030,” said James. “By the end of this year, the entire power consumption of our U.S. production will originate from renewable energy. Infineon is strongly committed to climate protection by reducing its own footprint, and driving energy efficient technologies. As the market leader for power semiconductors, Infineon makes a significant contribution to energy efficiency across the entire energy chain.”
Over the past four decades, the company has been working to generate and use energy more efficiently. Today, Infineon says it contributes a 33-times ecological net benefit through its products.
Semiconductor manufacturing facilities are some of Austin Energy's most energy-reliant customers. According to James, the company's Austin facility uses 30 megawatts of power per day. Most of that energy is to keep clean rooms and pumps up and running 24 hours a day.
"We think in the long run, it changes the behavior of the energy producers where they're going to produce more and more green energy, because that's what we're buying," James said. "Therefore, we're making our contribution to to carbon reductions overall."
According to James, making chips themselves is a fairly efficient process. The support systems draw the most power.
James added that the fab already has some green policies in place, including recycling and reusing a majority of the water that flows through the machinery.
"We recycle about two-thirds of our water and reuse it or either we clean it and reuse it or use it for other purposes after it's been used once," James said. "We're sending a message to the whole world. I mean, our whole company is committed to this. And our other all of our factories will be we'll be carbon neutral by 2030."
The local facility, called Fab25, employs 1,000 people and creates up to 1 billion semiconductor chips a year.
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