Press Release

ZEISS expands at the Rossdorf research and development site

22 March 2023 · 2 min read

  • ZEISS is expanding its site in Rossdorf by 300 square meters with new cleanrooms.
  • Besides investing over 20 million euros in buildings and equipment in the period to the end of 2026, new jobs are also being created.
  • ZEISS is demonstrating its commitment to Hesse as a business location.
Rossdorf (near Darmstadt)/Germany | 22 March 2023 | ZEISS Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology

The ground-breaking ceremony has taken place. The ZEISS Group’s Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology (SMT) segment is investing in its Rossdorf site in the German state of Hesse. The technology company is responding to the strong demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment by creating new cleanrooms and additional jobs.

Ceremonial moment: Andreas Pecher (Member of the ZEISS Management Board / President & Chief Executive Officer ZEISS SMT), Dr. Klaus Edinger (Head of Field of Business Repair ZEISS SMS), Norman Zimmermann (Mayor of Rossdorf), Dr. Patrick Villwock (Head of Development and Site Manager ZEISS SMT in Rossdorf) and Dr. Clemens Neuenhahn (Head of ZEISS Semiconductor Mask Solutions) at the groundbreaking ceremony for the ZEISS expansion building in Rossdorf.

Investment in the site’s future

The expansion at the Rossdorf site will provide an additional 300 square meters of cleanroom areas – a 50 percent increase. In addition to this, the existing building is being extensively modernized, the parking facilities and the logistics warehouse are being extended, and an office building is planned to be added at a later date. “Our new cleanrooms will benefit from further enhanced cleanroom quality and provide a virtually vibration-free environment. That is vital to create optimal conditions for the future development of mask repair technology,” says Dr. Patrick Villwock, Site Manager in Rossdorf. In the period to the end of 2026, ZEISS is investing a total of over 20 million euros in the construction project and the site’s technical equipment.

Continuous growth in Rossdorf

“Our workforce at the Rossdorf site has grown significantly over the past ten years. By expanding the site, we are looking to create space for further growth so that we can increase our headcount to as many as 300 employees in the long term if the market continues to develop as it has in recent years,” explains Villwock. Rossdorf’s mayor Norman Zimmermann is delighted about ZEISS SMT’s investment plans. “Today’s ground-breaking ceremony represents the logical continuation of a successful concept and a commitment to this location. In times when companies are increasingly toying with the idea of quitting Germany as a business location and moving to other countries around the globe, the signal this gives out is all the stronger,” he insists.

ZEISS commits to Hesse as a business location

With its semiconductor manufacturing optics, ZEISS is driving digitalization worldwide and is on a growth trajectory. “We are committed to Hesse as a business location, so we are investing in our sites in Rossdorf and Wetzlar and creating new jobs. By doing so, we are looking to strengthen the entire region over the long term and attract job seekers,” says Andreas Pecher, Member of the ZEISS Executive Board and President & CEO of ZEISS SMT. These investments are also part of a long-term growth strategy for the entire ZEISS Group. ZEISS is growing both in Germany and at many international locations to make room for further innovations and increasing employee numbers. “The expansion of the building infrastructure and the modernization of existing buildings will safeguard our long-term competitiveness and the innovative edge of our research and development activities,” adds Pecher.

High-precision nanostructuring solutions

At its site in Rossdorf, ZEISS SMT primarily carries out research into nanostructuring and develops mask repair systems for the global semiconductor industry. ZEISS’s MeRiT® system, which is based on electron-beam technology, can repair the tiniest photomask defects with nanometer precision. “Photomasks are rather like a slide that provides the structural pattern during the lithographic exposure process when manufacturing microchips,” explains Villwock. “All the world’s major semiconductor manufacturers use our systems to repair photomasks,” he reveals. Since microchips are becoming ever smaller, more powerful and more energy-efficient, the ongoing development of mask repair systems is also a must. “We need highly qualified staff for our research and development activities in Rossdorf, and that makes our proximity to research facilities such as the Technical University of Darmstadt a real benefit,” concludes Villwock.

Press Contact

Jeannine Rapp

Press Contact

Jeannine Rapp


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling 8.8 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2022).

For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world's leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.

With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company's significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS' technology and market leadership. ZEISS invests 13 percent of its revenue in research and development – this high level of expenditure has a long tradition at ZEISS and is also an investment in the future.

With over 38,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 30 production sites, 60 sales and service companies and 27 research and development facilities (status: 30 September 2022). Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.

Further information at

Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology

With its product portfolio and expertise, the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology segment of ZEISS covers a variety of key processes in the production of microchips. Its products include semiconductor manufacturing optics – notably lithography optics – as well as photomask systems and process control solutions for semiconductor manufacturing. Thanks to ZEISS technology, microchips are becoming increasingly smaller, more powerful, more energy-efficient and more affordable. The electronic applications of these ongoing enhancements enable global progress in many disciplines such as technology, electronics, communication, entertainment, mobility and energy. Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology is headquartered in Oberkochen. Other sites include Jena, Rossdorf and Wetzlar in Germany, as well as Bar Lev (Israel) and Dublin, CA and Danvers, MA (USA).

Press Photos

  • Groundbreaking ceremony for the ZEISS expansion building in Roßdorf

    Ceremonial moment: Andreas Pecher (Member of the ZEISS Management Board / President & Chief Executive Officer ZEISS SMT), Dr. Klaus Edinger (Head of Field of Business Repair ZEISS SMS), Norman Zimmermann (Mayor of Roßdorf), Dr. Patrick Villwock (Head of Development and Site Manager ZEISS SMT in Rossdorf) and Dr. Clemens Neuenhahn (Head of ZEISS Semiconductor Mask Solutions) at the groundbreaking ceremony for the ZEISS expansion building in Roßdorf.

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