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SEMICONDUCTORS Intel ramps up investments in EU chipmaking operations

From Luke James

Intel plans to invest tens of billions of euros into European Union chipmaking over the course of the next decade, creating tens of thousands of new jobs and supporting the Union’s plans to strengthen European chip supply chains.

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In total, Intel is planning to spend more than EUR33 billion on the initial manufacturing investments.
In total, Intel is planning to spend more than EUR33 billion on the initial manufacturing investments.
(Source: Timur Anikin - stock.adobe.com)

Building a European manufacturing base

The initial phase of Intel’s plans will see the company develop two first-of-their-kind semiconductor fabs in Magdeburg, Germany. Planning is set to begin immediately, and construction is expected to begin during the first half of 2023. Intel hopes to have production online at both facilities in 2027, pending approval from the European Commission. Chips will be built using Intel’s most advanced transistor technologies, serving both the needs of foundry customers and Intel.

The EUR17 billion investment is estimated to create 7,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent high-tech jobs, and tens of thousands of additional jobs across Intel’s suppliers and partners. Known as the “Silicon Junction”, the new site will serve as the connection point for other innovation and manufacturing hubs across Europe.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, 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.”

Balancing the global supply chain

It’s clear that Intel’s massive investment plans are focused on helping to balance the global semiconductor supply chain and fighting the chip shortage by bringing a huge amount of production to Europe.

As one of Europe’s leading powers with a huge talent pool, excellent infrastructure, and an existing ecosystem of suppliers and customers, Germany is the ideal place for Intel to establish its new European mega facilities.
In addition, Intel is continuing to invest in its Leixlip, Ireland expansion project, spending an additional EUR12 billion on doubling the manufacturing space.

In Italy, Intel has entered negotiations to build a first-of-its-kind, state-of-the-art back-end manufacturing facility with a potential investment of up to EUR4.5 billion. This would create around 1,500 Intel jobs plus an additional 3,500 across suppliers and partners, and operations are expected to begin between 2025 and 2027.

In total, Intel is planning to spend more than EUR33 billion on these initial manufacturing investments. In doing so, the American chipmaking giant is laying the groundwork to bring various parts of the semiconductor value chain closer together and helping to protect European supply chains.

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