Ramps Up $36B European Chip Making Effort
March 15, 2022
Intel started the first
phase of its plans to invest as much as 80 billion euros in the European Union
over the next decade along the entire semiconductor value chain – from research
and development (R&D) to manufacturing to state-of-the art packaging
technologies. 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. 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.
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.”
Expanding Leading-Edge Manufacturing Capacities for ‘Made in Europe’ Chips
The investment program is centered around balancing the global semiconductor
supply chain with a major expansion of Intel’s production capacities in Europe.
In the initial phase, Intel plans to develop two first-of-their-kind
semiconductor fabs in Magdeburg, Germany, the capital of Saxony-Anhalt. 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.
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 euros 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 euros.
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 euros, 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.
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.
Strengthening Europe’s World-Class Innovation Capabilities
R&D and design are critical to advance leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing.
Europe is home to world-class universities, research institutes, and leading
chip designers and suppliers. Supporting this innovation cluster with additional
investments in R&D and linking them to Intel’s leading-edge manufacturing plans
will boost the circle of innovation in Europe, including providing small and
medium enterprises (SMEs) better access to cutting-edge technologies. (Video:
Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission President, Speaks to Intel's EU Investment
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. 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
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.
Positive Spillover Effects Across the EU
ambitious European investment plans will have positive effects across industries
and member states. Building up manufacturing capacities and R&D capabilities at
this scale will create a virtuous cycle of innovation.
Intel has been present in Europe for more than 30 years and currently employs
around 10,000 people throughout the EU. In the past two years, Intel has spent
more than 10 billion euros with European suppliers. As Intel works to rebalance
silicon supply globally, that spend is expected to nearly double by 2026.
Intel’s investment plans will accelerate leading-edge chip design capabilities,
boost the European material and equipment supplier industry, and serve the
strong customer base across industries in Europe. Additionally, the investments
would be a magnet for thousands of additional engineers and technical workers,
growing the pool of innovators, entrepreneurs and visionaries that will advance
Europe’s digital and green future.
Supporting Europe’s Green Transition
A state-of-the-art European semiconductor ecosystem will support the green
transition and help deliver the European Green Deal. More efficient chips can
reduce the power consumption of the next wave of digital hardware while driving
HPC and AI solutions. In 2020, Intel outlined its 2030 RISE strategy and
corporate responsibility goals to accelerate the integration of responsible,
inclusive and sustainable practices over this decade. In line with the EU’s
climate targets, Intel is on track to achieve its 2030 sustainability goals,
including achieving net positive water use by conserving, recycling and
reclaiming water, and funding local water projects that restore more fresh water
than it consumes. In addition, Intel will power its global manufacturing
operations with 100% renewable energy and achieve zero total waste to landfills.