A former military firing range in Oranmore near Galway in the west of Ireland is the Industrial Development Agency’s “preferred site” for an Intel chip foundry that would employ 10,000 people, according to reports.

This is more than twice the 4,900 people Intel employs at its established facility in Leixlip, Ireland on the outskirts of Dublin. Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO, visited Leixlip last week and met with Ireland’s prime minister, Taoiseach Michael Martin.

The site in Galway is a 216-hectare rifle range, owned by the Irish Department of Defence. The project would involve the building of eight factory modules on the campus, the reports said.

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However, Intel is also reportedly in talks with the government of the German state of Bavaria over the potential creation of a foundry wafer fab near Munich. Both the Galway and Bavaria projects could in theory come to fruition as Intel has pledged to expand its manufacturing in Europe and Gelsinger has suggested the company could spend up to €80bn (US$115bn) in Europe over the next ten years. In interviews, Gelsinger has suggested starting with Intel’s leading edge 20A (2nm) process and capable of 1.8nm and 1nm technology, as well as 3nm and 4nm production for teh eight fabs on the site.

However, Gelsinger has also been making it clear, according to reports, that Intel needs a substantial subsidy from government to embark on the undertaking.

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