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Intel makes initial €33bn investment in EU semiconductor development

Intel Semiconductor factory

Intel has revealed the first phase of its plans which will see the company spend approximately €33 billion on the development of the European semiconductor market.

The news form part of Intel's wider plans to invest up to €80 billion in the European Union over the next 10 years in semiconductor value chain. This includes everything from research and development (R&D) to manufacturing all the way to packaging technologies.

Intel will spend an initial €17 billion on a new edge semiconductor fabrication mega-site in Germany, as well as a new R&D and design hub in France, and invest in R&D, manufacturing and foundry services in Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain.

“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," said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel.

"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.”

The news comes in line with the ongoing semiconductor shortage that was accelerated during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent global lockdowns. Capacity covered this trend in the 2021 October/November issue of Capacity Magazine, read more the topic here. As such, chip vendors like Intel are expanding its production capacities in Europe and around the world to meet this supply chain demand.

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During this initial phase of development, Intel plans to develop two semiconductor fabrication foundry's in Magdeburg, Germany. Planning is already underway with construction to begin in the first half of 2023 and completion due for 2027, subject to approval from the European Commission.

As for Ireland, the says it will continue to invest in its Leixlip expansion project, pledging an additional €12 billion and will double the manufacturing space. Once complete, the expansion will bring Intel’s total investment in Ireland to more than €30 billion.

In Italy Intel is in negotiations to construct a back-end manufacturing facility at a cost of roughly €4.5 billion, with operations due to start between 2025 and 2027.

Near Plateau de Saclay in France Intel plans to build its new European R&D hub, making France Intel’s European headquarters for high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) design capabilities.

In addition, the company plans to establish its main European foundry design centre in France, offering design services and design collaterals to industry partners and customers.

Lastly, over in Poland, Intel says it will increase its existing lab space by 50% with a focus on developing solutions in the fields of deep neural networks, audio, graphics, data centre and cloud computing. The expansion is due to be completed in 2023.