Intel To Build At Least Two New Leading-edge Semiconductor Fabs In Europe
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger on Tuesday said that the chip manufacturing behemoth could invest as much as 80 billion euros (($94.77 billion) in next decade in Europe and will build at least two new leading-edge semiconductor factories in the continent.
Gelsigner was speaking at Munich's IAA auto show, his first in-person keynote since taking the helm of Intel in February.
The company also announced that it will establish committed foundry capacity at its existing fab in Ireland and launch the Intel Foundry Services Accelerator to help automotive chip designers transition to advanced nodes.
Pointing out that majority of automotive chips are manufactured using legacy process technologies, Gelsinger said that as automotive applications transition to rely on more high-performance processing, chips are also beginning to migrate to more advanced process technologies.
"Intel is partnering with leading automotive players and committing significant resources in Europe to help drive this transition around the globe in the coming years" he said.
Gelsigner also detailed elements of the company’s previously announced IDM 2.0 strategy and shared how those programs will apply specifically for the automotive and mobility industries in the European Union.
As part of IDM 2.0 strategy, while Intel will continue to use other fabs to make its chips, it will also try to revive 'Intel Foundry Services' (IFS) - that is, offer foundry to fabless companies or even other IDMs which do not have as sophisticated fabs as Intel has, to make chips.
European Union (EU) aims to double the production of chips on its territory in order to increase its global share to 20%. EU wants to mobilise a public-private funding to tune of €20 billion-30 billion to operationalise its semiconductor manufacturing ambitions
EU Commissioner Thierry Breton is putting together a multibillion-euro plan for the semiconductor industry.
Breton has an expansive vision that aims to catapult Europe to 'technological sovereignty' in semiconductor domain by creating capability to manufacture ultra-sophisticated chips for smartphones, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
"Europe must have this ambition," Bretton said, referring to plans to produce 2-nanometer chips — the industry's most advanced target — by 2030.
In April, Bretton met Intel’s Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger to discuss the idea. During his visit, Gelsinger also met French president Emmanuel Macron and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi to discuss the impact of global chip shortage.
"What we are asking from the American and European governments is to allow it (the project) to be competitive for us here compared to Asia, ” Gelsinger said in an interview with the Politico Europe.
Intel is reportedly seeking at least $9.7 billion in public subsidies towards building a semiconductor factory in Europe.
According to Financial Times, Intel is looking for a site in Europe with at least 1000 acres of land that can support up to eight chip fabrication facilities (popularly known as fabs) and provide access to talent pool.
According to a report in Reuters, Intel is likely to choose a production sites either in Germany and France while Poland, where Intel also has a presence, also in the picture.
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