Intel unveils $88 billion chipmaking expansion plan for Europe
U.S. chipmaker Intel on Tuesday unveiled plans to invest up to 80 billion euros ($88 billion) across Europe as part of an ambitious expansion aimed at redressing imbalances in the industry global semiconductor industry that has led to major chip shortages.
CEO Pat Gelsinger said Intel would invest the money over the next decade “across the semiconductor value chain.”
The company plans to spend tens of billions of dollars to create or expand chip production sites and establish research and development or design centers in Germany, Ireland, France and Italy.
“Why are we doing this? Because the world has an insatiable demand for semiconductors or chips,” Gelsinger said during a webcast.
Intel said it was bringing its most advanced technology to Europe to address the need for a “more balanced and resilient” semiconductor supply chain.
Last month, European Union leaders announced a $47 billion “Chips Act” to help the continent become a major producer of semiconductors and reduce its dependence on Asian markets for the tiny components, which act as the electronic brains of everything from cars to smartphones and game consoles.
Demand for chips rose as the global economy rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic, but supply did not follow due to bottlenecks.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hailed the announcement as the first major achievement under EU chip law.
“I’m sure it will pave the way for more companies,” said von der Leyen, who wants the EU to double its share of global chip production to 20% by 2030.
Phase one of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel’s investment plans includes 17 billion euros to bolster its European production capacity with a state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing ‘mega-site’ in Magdeburg , in Germany. The site will include two semiconductor fabs, or fabs, which will manufacture chips with Intel’s most advanced technology. If the European Commission gives its approval, it should start next year and go live by 2027, creating 3,000 high-tech jobs.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck welcomed the news, saying it would strengthen “Europe’s digital sovereignty”. The new facility will receive financial support from the German government.
Plans also include 12 billion euros in additional investment to expand Intel’s existing site in Leixlip, Ireland, doubling manufacturing space and expanding its new foundry services business, which builds chips designed by other companies. This will bring the company’s total Irish investment to over €30 billion.
Intel says it’s also in talks with Italy “to enable a state-of-the-art back-end manufacturing plant” that would involve a potential investment of up to 4.5 billion euros and create thousands of jobs. direct and indirect jobs.
There are also plans for a research and development center and foundry design center in France, expanded lab space in Poland, and a partnership with local researchers for an advanced computer lab in Spain.
Intel, the world’s second-largest semiconductor maker according to technology research and advisory firm Gartner, is also expanding into the United States with a $20 billion factory in Ohio.
Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.