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KDPOF receives IPCEI investments to build an optoelectronics packaging plant in Spain

This is a translated extract of the article “PERTE Chip o la ambición de situar a España enel mapa de los semiconductores” by Marilés de Pedro for Newsbook, first published on 5 February 2024 in Spanish.

‘It is the most ambitious PERTE of the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation. Approved in April 2022, the PERTE Chip has a budget of around 12,250 million euros until 2027 and aims to boost the semiconductor sector in Spain. A PERTE, in line with the provisions of the European Chip Law, which came into force last September and which seeks to promote the strategic autonomy of the EU in this critical area. In Spain, the first aid was granted last December to a total of 15 projects, totaling 50 million euros, thanks to the approval last October of the Addendum to the Recovery Plan, which made it possible to mobilize all the resources allocated to Spain from the NextGeneration EU funds …’

For the original publication, please see here.

As follows, please find the translation of the interview with our CEO Carlos Pardo:

KDPOF: Chips with Spanish Flavor

In the complex environment of chip manufacturing, it is possible to find innovative companies with a Spanish stamp. This is the case of KDPOF, founded in 2010, which has focused its activity, with great success, on the packaging and testing of optoelectronic chips. These chips, as Carlos Pardo, CEO and co-founder of the company, explains, link microelectronics and optics, so the encapsulation process connects both worlds. “The precision required in optics and the high speed demanded in microelectronics make potting a key part of the product,” he explains, and the company estimates that the potting and testing required for this type of chip accounts for more than 70% of the cost, so control of the manufacturing process is crucial. “Our encapsulation technology is robust, of a quality and at a price that is among the most advanced in the world,” he says. Although the main sector targeted by the Spanish company is the automotive market, its technology is applicable to other markets.

“We lead the world in the use of in-car optical communications,” says Pardo. These communications are indispensable “as the demand for high data transmission speeds has increased, with the arrival of cameras and other high-definition sensors, autonomous driving, the connected car and huge screens. The recipe, in his opinion, to do so passes through automation and robotization. “The development of Industry 4.0 or artificial intelligence, for example, are some of the technologies that can allow us to compete with countries that have a low cost of personnel”.

In the deployment of this activity, the Spanish company was awarded last June a part of the investment of the European Commission’s “Important Projects of Common European Interest” (IPCEI) program, estimated at 8.1 billion euros. The current investors in KDPOF and some banks are also betting on bringing manufacturing capacity to Spain,” he adds, optimistically believing that Spain can be a chip and semiconductor production center. “Not only can it, but it has to be. We have no future if we only focus on service, tourism and construction. Industry has to grow significantly, and more so in Spain.”

The company is currently embarking on an ambitious project to deconstruct a chip encapsulation factory to be located in Tres Cantos. The facility will consist of some 2,000 square meters of clean rooms where at least two lines will be set up, with the possibility of installing one more. The rooms will have different cleanliness categories, from ISO 6 to ISO 8, and will be able to carry out the so-called “wafer handling” or preparation and cutting of the silicon wafer and its subsequent testing, packaging, and final testing. In addition, there will be prototyping, qualification and R&D laboratories.” We want to reach 6 seconds per chip and, subsequently, optimize the process until we reach 3 seconds per chip”.

This is a project in which the Spanish company enjoys funding thanks to the European IPCEI program, with a budget of more than 50 million euros. Pardo explains that a large part of it will go to R&D activities. “Around 11 million euros have already been invested,” he says. “It is quite possible that the total invested, at the end of the project, set for 2028, will be significantly higher, to increase the capacity and efficiency of the lines”.

For the original publication, please see here.

KDPOF receives IPCEI investments to build an optoelectronics packaging plant in Spain

KDPOF proudly announced that the European Commission has granted access to the 8.1 billion European investment IPCEI for their projected packaging plant for optoelectronic devices in Spain. “The funding supports us in making our plans of manufacturing ICs in Europe come true in the near future,” stated Carlos Pardo, CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF. “European fabs only manufacture approximately 10 percent of semiconductors worldwide, making us dependent on Asia and the United States. We will pioneer the manufacturing of automotive optoelectronics in Spain in high volume, thus reducing this dependency.” Read more

In collaboration with Ametic, Carlos Pardo will participate in TheMISS Conference, which is accompanying MATELEC trade show.

In collaboration with AMETIC, Carlos Pardo will participate in TheMISS Conference, which is accompanying MATELEC trade show. This leading trade fair for the electrical, electronics, and telecommunications industry is taking place from November 15 to 18, 2022, at IFEMA in Madrid, Spain. On November 18, at 11:30, Carlos will speak about “Spanish and European Proposals to Chip and Semiconductor Shortages” at IFEMA Technology building, Room 3, Pavilion 7. They will discuss strategies and solutions included in PERTE and how companies in Europe are trying to solve the problem locally.
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Carlos Pardo is CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF

Since the widespread shortage of semiconductors started, several European industries have been hit, not just in the automotive sector. Various industries have been directly or indirectly affected, and it has become evident that increasing semiconductor production capabilities in Europe is crucial. At the 37th edition of the Conference on Design of Circuits and Integrated Systems (DCIS 2022) from November 16 to 18, 2022 in Pamplona, Spain, KDPOF CEO Carlos Pardo will participate in the Panel Session “Chip Crisis: Europe Strikes back” on November 17 at 15:00. Read more

Carlos Pardo is CEO and Co-founder of KDPOF

The forecasts for next year are better but will not be able to overcome the demand from the automotive industry and the other industries that need these components. Francisco Quatrin from Portal Movilidad has spoken with KDPOF CEO Carlos Pardo.

The semiconductor industry will not recover until 2024: What will happen to electric vehicles?

The microchip crisis that began in 2020 still seems to have no end. The industry predicted its end within the next few months, but the sector warns that it will have to wait at least two years for the situation to normalize. 2024 is the year that resonates among microchip and semiconductor industry specialists. “It took us almost a year to manufacture something that should be ready in four months,” says Carlos Pardo.

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Integrated KD9351 FOT for automotive gigabit connectivity

Extreme technology, billions of euros and rooms that are much cleaner than those in an operating theater. This is how a microchip is manufactured.

Toñi Fernández from the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser has spoken with KDPOF CEO Carlos Pardo about the plans to set up a semiconductor packaging plant in the Madrid area. As follows, please see the translated summary of the Spanish audio. Read more

V5G Valencia Round Table with Carlos Pardo

In the course of V5G Days from May 30-31 in València, Spain, and online, Carlos Pardo participated in the panel discussion “The Microelectronics Industry in Europe: Recovery or Reinvention?” He summarized the roundtable: “I very much enjoyed the informative talk with representatives from the Spanish semiconductor industry about PERTE, Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation in Spain. KDPOF will soon start mass production of semiconductor packaging and testing in Spain of our own products and third parties ones, thanks to IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) and PERTE.”

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KDPOF on RTVE: Interview with Carlos Pardo about Microelectronics Industry in Spain

Spain had approved the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation with an important invest in microchips and technology companies. It is essential because we have in Spain some companies that create technological and electronic components and equipment but depend on Asia for manufacturing since they don’t have the capacity to produce microchips on their own. The project PERTE will invest an important quantity of Euros to help these companies for manufacturing. As Carlos Pardo stated in the interview, it could get an important growth in these small companies and also attract private invest resulting in a general economic growth.

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KDPOF on Soy-de TV: Plans to Produce Spanish Chips

Report by Soy-de TV – Interview with Carlos Pardo: Soy-de TV talked to our CEO about the semiconductor factory he wants to set up in Tres Cantos. Read more