Ireland has a strong relationship with the semiconductor industry dating all the way back to 1966 when General Electric set up its European base of operations in the North East town of Dundalk. Then known as Ecco, the plant set the ball rolling, so to speak, for an industry that would become one of Ireland’s strongest and robust sectors for decades.
In fact, the success of General Electric’s European base saw the plant taken over by first Harris and then LittleFuse and encouraged other major companies and local startups to set up shop in Ireland. This led to the likes of Intel investing heavily in ‘Silicon Ireland’ which it continues to do even today.
While many of the semiconductor companies working in the industry here in Ireland now operate on a smaller scale, there is still a seemingly endless list of businesses both local and multinational doing great things in the field.
Truth be told, we could have created a list twice as long and still only scratched the surface of the industry in Ireland, but for now, we’ll keep our list to these five semiconductor companies for now.
We might as well start off with a big one. Since first coming to Ireland in 1989, Intel has invested more than €30 billion, yes that’s ‘billion’, into its Leixlip plant in County Kildare. Unsurprisingly, this is the largest investment by a single company into a project in the Irish state. According to Intel, this has made the plant one of the most technologically advanced semiconductor plants in Europe if not the world. The company also recently announced that it would be investing a further €12 billion into its Irish operations.
Intel currently employs over 4,500 people in Ireland so there are many opportunities for positions at multiple levels within the company.
Cypress Semiconductor/Infineon Technologies
Cypress Semiconductor was founded in California in 1982. The company became one of the leading semiconductor manufacturers in the world and established its Irish HQ in Cork back in 2012 where the team works on Product Design and Development, and Software Engineering.
In 2019, the company was acquired by Infineon Technologies in a deal worth a reported $9.4 billion making it one of the top 10 semiconductor manufacturers in the world. The very fact that this is one of the leading semiconductor companies in the industry means that Cypress makes the list despite having a relatively small team based here in Ireland.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, onsemi is ranked as #483 on the 2022 Fortune 500 based on its 2021 sales. It is consistently in the top 20 semiconductor companies in the world based on sales revenues. The company opened up shop in Limerick in 2008 so it’s a relative newcomer to the mature Irish semiconductor industry. However, following its acquisition of SensL Technologies in 2018, the company now has two locations (Limerick, Cork). These are both design centres and have been earmarked as long-term R&D locations for onsemi.
Microchip Technology Ireland
Microchip Technology is a major player in the semiconductor industry and entered the Irish market in 2004. With locations in Ennis, Cork, and Dublin, the American company has invested heavily in Irish talent and recently opened a €20 million research facility in Cork. It is also considered a great employer. This year, Microchip made it onto the list of Ireland’s top 150 employers which is no mean feat given that over 1,000 employers were vetted by the Irish Independent.
Microchip Technology currently employs over 350 people across its three locations.
Back in 1976, American semiconductor company Analog Devices opened a small advance factory unit in Limerick with a team of just 13 people. Fast-forward to 2022 and the company now employs more than 1,300 engineers, production staff, and research and development staff at the same location which is now its European headquarters. Analog Devices’ Irish journey is certainly one of the big success stories in the local semiconductor industry and one that is celebrated within the company itself.
In March of 2022, the company announced that it would invest a further €100 million in a 9,290sq m facility for innovation and collaboration at its Limerick campus. The project will take three years to complete and create 250 new semiconductor jobs.
As mentioned previously, this list is by no means exhaustive nor does it comprise the top 5 semiconductor companies in Ireland. However, these are certainly some of the best companies in the industry and ones that anyone with an interest in relocating to Ireland should consider.
It’s thanks to companies like these that there are so many semiconductor job opportunities here in the Irish market and why there will continue to be in the future. Intel’s investment alone gives the industry a significant boost, but when combined with both Microchip Technology’s and Advance Devices’ significant investments, we can safely say that the future is bright and in good hands.
If you’re interested in working for one of Ireland’s many semiconductor companies but aren’t sure where to start, then why not get in touch with Software Placements and take the first step on your journey. Whether you’re fresh out of college, looking for a career change, or considering relocating to Ireland, we’d be more than happy to help you find the right semiconductor job opportunity.