Intel outlines €80bn EU semiconductor investment

Intel has announced the first phase of its plans to invest as much as €80 billion over the next decade into the semiconductor value chain in the European Union – from research and development (R&D) to manufacturing to state-of-the art packaging technologies.

Intel currently employs around 10,000 people throughout the EU. In the past two years, Intel has spent more than €10 billion with European suppliers — and that spend is expected to nearly double by 2026.

“Today’s announcement includes plans to invest an initial 17 billion euros into a leading-edge semiconductor fab mega-site in Germany, to create a new R&D and design hub in France, and to invest in R&D, manufacturing and foundry services in Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain,” said Intel.

“With this landmark investment, Intel plans to bring its most advanced technology to Europe, creating a next-generation European chip ecosystem and addressing the need for a more balanced and resilient supply chain.”

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinge 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.”

In the initial phase of its investment, Intel plans to develop two semiconductor semiconductor fabrication plants in Magdeburg, Germany.

Planning will start immediately, with construction expected to begin in the first half of 2023 and production planned to come online in 2027, pending European Commission approval.

“The new fabs are expected to deliver chips using Intel’s most advanced, Angstrom-era transistor technologies, serving the needs of both foundry customers and Intel for Europe and globally as part of the company’s IDM (integrated device manufacturer) 2.0 strategy,” said Intel.

“At the center of Europe and with top talent, superb infrastructure and an existing ecosystem of suppliers and customers, Germany is an ideal place to establish a new hub – a ‘Silicon Junction’ – for advanced chipmaking.

“Intel plans to initially invest 17 billion euros, creating 7,000 construction jobs over the course of the build, 3,000 permanent high-tech jobs at Intel, and tens of thousands of additional jobs across suppliers and partners.

“Intel plans to refer to the new site as the Silicon Junction, connecting technology. This Silicon Junction will serve as the connection point for other centers of innovation and manufacturing across the country and region.”

Intel is also continuing to invest in its Leixlip, Ireland, expansion project, spending an additional €12 billion and doubling the manufacturing space to bring Intel 4 process technology to Europe and expand foundry services.

Once complete, this expansion will bring Intel’s total investment in Ireland to more than €30 billion.

In addition, Intel and Italy have entered into negotiations to enable a state-of-the-art back-end manufacturing facility.

With a potential investment of up to €4.5 billion, this factory would create approximately 1,500 Intel jobs plus an additional 3,500 jobs across suppliers and partners, with operations to start between 2025 and 2027.

“Intel and Italy aim to make this facility a first of its kind in the EU with new and innovative technologies,” said Intel.

“This would be in addition to the foundry innovation and growth opportunities Intel expects to pursue in Italy based on its planned acquisition of Tower Semiconductor.

“Tower has a significant partnership with STMicroelectronics, which has a fab in Agrate Brianza, Italy.

“In total, Intel plans to spend more than 33 billion euros on these manufacturing investments.

“By significantly increasing its manufacturing capacities across the EU, Intel would lay the groundwork to bring various parts of the semiconductor value chain closer together and increase supply chain resiliency in Europe.”

Around Plateau de Saclay, France, Intel plans to build its new European R&D hub, creating 1,000 new high-tech jobs at Intel, with 450 jobs available by the end of 2024.

“France will become Intel’s European headquarters for high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) design capabilities,” said Intel.

“HPC and AI innovation will benefit a broad set of industry sectors, including automotive, agriculture, climate, drug discovery, energy, genomics, life sciences and security – greatly improving the life of every European.

“In addition, Intel plans to establish its main European foundry design center in France, offering design services and design collaterals to French, European and worldwide industry partners and customers.

“In Gdansk, Poland, Intel is increasing its lab space by 50% with a focus on developing solutions in the fields of deep neural networks, audio, graphics, data center and cloud computing.

“The expansion is expected to be completed in 2023.

“These investments will further strengthen Intel’s long-standing relationships with European research institutes across the continent, including IMEC in Belgium, Technical University Delft in the Netherlands, CEA-Leti in France and the Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany.

“Intel is also developing exciting partnerships in Italy with Leonardo, INFN and CINECA to explore advanced new solutions in HPC, memory, software programming models, security and cloud.

“Over the past decade in Spain, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Intel have been collaborating on exascale architecture. Now, they are developing zettascale architecture for the next decade.

“The supercomputing center and Intel plan to establish joint labs in Barcelona to advance computing.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.