Intel has announced a massive new investment in its European manufacturing sites, with a new €17 billion “leading-edge semiconductor fab mega-site” in Germany, and a €12 billion expansion of its existing Ireland fab.
The company is also building a new R&D and design hub in France, and plans to invest in additional areas in Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Spain for manufacturing, foundry services, and research. All told, Intel is planning to invest over €33 billion in its initial wave of European R&D and manufacturing, as part of a total of €80 billion invested in the EU over the next decade.
The new German site will consist of two semiconductor fabs in Magdeburg, with construction set to start in the first half of 2023 ahead of planned production in 2027. They’ll produce Intel’s next-generation “Angstrom-era” products (which would include the upcoming Intel 20A and Intel 18A nodes that the company detailed last year). The new fabs won’t just be making chips for Intel, either: the goal is for the site to help produce chips for Intel Foundry Services customers, too. Intel says that the Germany project will see 7,000 new jobs for constructing the massive new fabs, along with 3,000 permanent jobs at Intel once the fab starts production in a few years.
Meanwhile, the Ireland expansion aims to double Intel’s manufacturing space at the company’s existing site, and bring the upcoming Intel 4 node to its European manufacturing sites.
The new European investment comes as part of Intel’s “IDM 2.0” strategy introduced by CEO Pat Gelsinger when he took the wheel of the company a year ago. Since then, Intel has announced a massive $20 billion investment into its existing Arizona sites, along with a similarly large $20 billion investment for a new Ohio site that Intel claims will be the “largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet.”
Investment in manufacturing sites is a hot topic for the silicon industry, as supply shortages for semiconductors continue to wreak havoc with supply chains, product availability, and prices for everything from PlayStation 5 consoles to cars. It’s not just Intel, either: TSMC and Samsung have announced big plans for new chip production sites (both internationally and in the US), too. But while manufacturing capabilities could help with supply issues, given the long lead time for constructing new fabs, it’ll likely be some time before the impact of these new investments are felt.