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Intel invests in Europe to rebalance semiconductor supply chain

Posted on 07 Apr 2022 and read 1058 times
Intel invests in Europe to rebalance semiconductor supply chainIntel, an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, has announced the first phase of its plans to invest as much as 80 billion euros in the European Union (EU) over the next 10 years along the entire semiconductor value chain — from research and development (R&D) to manufacturing to ‘state of the art’ packaging technologies.

This announcement includes plans to: invest an initial 17 billion euros into a leading-edge semiconductor fabrication plant mega-site in Germany; create a new R&D and design hub in France; and invest in R&D, manufacturing and foundry services in Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Spain.

Intel says that with this ‘landmark investment’, the company plans to ‘bring its most advanced technology to Europe, creating a next-generation European chip ecosystem and address the need for a more balanced and resilient supply chain’.

Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s CEO, said: “Our planned investments are a major step both for Intel and for Europe. The ‘EU Chips Act’ will empower private companies and governments to work together to drastically advance Europe’s position in the semiconductor sector. This broad initiative will boost Europe’s R&D innovation and bring leading-edge manufacturing to the region for the benefit of our customers and partners around the world. We are committed to playing an essential role in shaping Europe’s digital future for decades to come.”

In the initial phase, Intel plans to develop two ‘first-of-their-kind’ semiconductor fabrication plants in Magdeburg, Germany. Planning will start immediately, with construction expected to begin in the first half of 2023 and production planned to come online in 2027, pending European Commission approval. Intel’s plans are expected to create 7,000 construction jobs over the course of the build, 3,000 permanent high-tech jobs at Intel, and tens of thousands of additional jobs across suppliers and partners.

Meanwhile, Intel is also continuing to invest in its Leixlip, Ireland, expansion project, spending an additional 12 billion euros and doubling the manufacturing space to bring Intel 4 process technology to Europe and expand ‘foundry services’. Once complete, this expansion will bring Intel’s total investment in Ireland to more than 30 billion euros. In addition, Intel and Italy have entered negotiations to enable a ‘state of the art’ back-end manufacturing facility.

With a potential investment of up to 4.5 billion euros, this factory would create about 1,500 Intel jobs plus an additional 3,500 jobs within suppliers and partners, with operations to start between 2025 and 2027.

Intel says that in total, it plans to spend more than 33 billion euros on these manufacturing investments, significantly increasing the company’s manufacturing capacities across the EU and laying the groundwork ‘to bring various parts of the semiconductor value chain closer together and increase supply chain resiliency in Europe’.

Intel has been present in Europe for more than 30 years and currently employs around 10,000 people throughout the EU. In the past two years, Intel has spent more than 10 billion euros with European suppliers; and as Intel works to rebalance silicon supply globally, that spend is expected to nearly double by 2026.