Intel Keeps Europe Waiting As It Commits To New US Chip Factories

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New Delhi: Seems like chipset-making giant Intel has taken a cue from its competitors as the company has announced plans for an initial investment of more than $20 billion for the construction of two new leading-edge chip factories in the US state of Ohio. The investment is aimed at boosting production to meet the growing demand for advanced semiconductors, powering a new generation of products from Intel and serving the needs of foundry customers as part of the company’s IDM 2.0 strategy.

For the development of the new site, Intel has also pledged an additional $100 million toward partnerships with educational institutions to build a pipeline of talent and bolster research programs in the region. The $20 billion Intel complex will be built in New Albany, Ohio, near Columbus. Intel’s rivals Samsung and TSMC have also announced plans for chip plants in the US states of Arizona and Texas.

“Today’s investment marks another significant way Intel is leading the effort to restore US semiconductor manufacturing leadership,” Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, said in a statement. “Intel’s actions will help build a more resilient supply chain and ensure reliable access to advanced semiconductors for years to come. Intel is bringing leading capability and capacity back to the United States to strengthen the global semiconductor industry. These factories will create a new epicenter for advanced chipmaking in the US that will bolster Intel’s domestic lab-to-fab pipeline and strengthen Ohio’s leadership in research and high tech.”

The Intel CEO mentioned that the company’s European factory plans were still on the cards even as it commits to new chip factories in the US.

Planning for Intel’s first two factories will start immediately, with construction expected to begin late in 2022. Production is expected to come online in 2025, when the fab will deliver chips using the industry’s most advanced transistor technologies. Ohio will be home to Intel’s first new manufacturing site location in 40 years. The initial phase of the project is expected to create 3,000 Intel jobs and 7,000 construction jobs over the course of the build, and to support thousands of additional local long-term jobs across a broad ecosystem of suppliers and partners.

Spanning nearly 1,000 acres in Licking County, just outside of Columbus, the “mega-site” can accommodate a total of eight chip factories — also known as “fabs” — as well as support operations and ecosystem partners. At full buildout, the total investment in the site could grow to as much as $100 billion over the next decade, making it one of the largest semiconductor manufacturing sites in the world.

“The impact of this mega-site investment will be profound,” said Keyvan Esfarjani, Intel senior vice president of Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations. “A semiconductor factory is not like other factories. Building this semiconductor mega-site is akin to building a small city, which brings forth a vibrant community of supporting services and suppliers. Ohio is an ideal location for Intel’s US expansion because of its access to top talent, robust existing infrastructure, and long history as a manufacturing powerhouse. The scope and pace of Intel’s expansion in Ohio, however, will depend heavily on funding from the CHIPS Act.”

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