Even though Germany seems to be the front-runner, Intel would consider building a fab in the Netherlands, Belgium or Luxembourg. “We think of Germany as a good candidate – not the only, but a good candidate – for where we might build our fabrication capabilities,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told Handelsblatt. He added that the Benelux countries are good locations, too.
Gelsinger traveled to Europe last week to meet with EU officials, German politicians and industry leaders to discuss the possibility of the European Union and Intel helping each other out. The EU is determined to bring back leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing to its shores by 2030, while Intel is looking to regain industry leadership. The idea is that the EU co-funds the construction of an advanced Intel fab in Europe, which would (partly) serve as a foundry.
According to Politico Europe, which also interviewed Gelsinger, the processor manufacturer would require 8 billion euros (9.7 billion dollars) from the EU. Intel later denied that its CEO requested a specific amount, although he made clear that government funding is a necessity to be competitive. “Many governments provide generous incentives to attract and develop semiconductor manufacturing and to incentivize R&D. Europe must match this to stand a chance of competing,” Gelsinger wrote in an article submitted to the Financial Times.