Intel has confirmed it is to build two leading edge fabs in Madgeburg, Germany as part of an €80bn ($88bn) investment in the region alongside packaging plants and design centres in Italy, Poland, France and Spain. It is also investing €12bn to expand its fab in Ireland to support the 4nm Intel 4 process technology for foundry customers.
“Today we are announcing our European strategy, and its bigger than one or two fabs, to create a world class chip ecosystem,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel. “ We will €80bn in the EU over the next decade across the entire semiconductor value chain. Our initial landmark investment will be a €17bn leading megasite in Germany and continuing our investment with E12bn in Ireland,” he said. “But we are also planning a new R&D design hub in France and assessing the options for advanced packaging in Italy, Poland and Spain.”
The plan aims to tap into support from the European Chips Act, which aims to provide €43bn of public investment to 2030.
“With this we want to make Europe a leader in semiconductor production and strengthen our resilience with home grown secure technologies,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. “It’s not just about quantity,” she said. “I want Europe to cross technology barriers, breaking the 3nm node barrier and creating energy efficient chips. It’s not just a question of a few big fabs but fundamental research to market applications. We need a true ‘whole of Europe’ approach and this needs massive investment.”
“This is why today’s announcement by Intel is the first big investment,” she said. “It is a considerable contribution to the European chip eco-system and I’m sure it will pave the way for more companies to follow suit. We have some of the best minds in r&d, a stable and attractive market and we are open for business.”
However the two fabs in Madgeburg are dependent on the building permits and financial support, says Gelsinger. Intel aims to break ground in the first half of 2023 with products in 2027. This will create 3000 high tech jobs at Intel, he said.
The company is also expanding its foundry services at Leixlip in Ireland with a E12bn to support the Intel 4 process. “This brings the investment in Ireland to over €30bn,” said Gelsinger.
The company is in negotiation in Italy for an advanced packaging plant with a €4.5bn investment that would create 1500 jobs directly and 3500 in the supply chain. This would be the first of its kind n Europe, said Gelsinger. He also points to the collaboration with ST and Tower Semiconductor which share a new fab at Agrate, Italy.( see Intel is buying Tower). “This will be the catalyst for the foundry business for chip in automotive, industrial and personal electronics,” he said.
Intel is also setting up a research and design centre at Plateau de Saclay, south of Paris, France, with 1000 staff and making France its European HQ for artificial intelligence (AI) and high performance computing (HPC) and the main Foundry design centre. It is also expanding its relationship with the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre in Spain to move from research into exascale systems to Zetascale.
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