Nieke Roos
16 March 2022

Intel has announced to spend more than 33 billion euros on production capacity expansions across Europe. The chipmaker plans to put an initial 17 billion into a leading-edge semiconductor fab mega-site in Magdeburg, Germany, and up to 4.5 billion into a new Italian back-end facility, create a new R&D and design hub in France and invest in R&D, manufacturing and foundry services in Ireland, Poland and Spain. This first phase of the company’s grand scheme to infuse as much as 80 billion euros into the EU semiconductor value chain over the next decade will also further strengthen its long-standing relationships with European research institutes across the continent, including Delft University of Technology, Imec, CEA-Leti and the Fraunhofer Institutes.

The European investment program is centered around balancing the global semiconductor supply chain. In the initial phase, Intel will develop two first-of-their-kind fabs in Magdeburg. Planning will start immediately, with construction expected to begin in the first half of 2023 and production to come online in 2027, pending European Commission approval. The new fabs are expected to deliver chips using Intel’s most advanced transistor technologies, serving the needs of both foundry customers and Intel for Europe and globally.

Intel Magdeburg
A rendering shows early plans for two new Intel processor factories in Magdeburg, Germany. Credit: Intel

According to Intel, Germany is an ideal place to establish a new hub, dubbed the “Silicon Junction.” The initial 17-billion investment is to create 7,000 construction jobs over the course of the build, 3,000 permanent high-tech jobs at the chipmaker and tens of thousands of additional jobs across suppliers and partners. The Silicon Junction will serve as the connection point for other centers of innovation and manufacturing across the country and region.

Intel has also entered into negotiations with Italy to enable a 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. Operations are to start between 2025 and 2027. This new fab would be in addition to the foundry innovation and growth opportunities Intel expects to pursue based on its planned acquisition of Israel’s Tower Semiconductor, which has a significant partnership with Italy’s STMicroelectronics.

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Around Plateau de Saclay, France, Intel plans to build its new European R&D hub, creating 1,000 new high-tech jobs at the company, with 450 jobs available by the end of 2024. It will become Intel’s European headquarters for high-performance computing and artificial intelligence design capabilities. The chipmaker wants to establish its main European foundry design center in France as well, offering design services and design collaterals to French, European and worldwide partners and customers.

Intel is also continuing to invest in its Leixlip, Ireland, expansion project, spending an additional 12 billion euros and doubling the manufacturing space. In Gdansk, Poland, it’s increasing its lab space by 50 percent, 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. In Spain, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Intel plan to establish joint labs to advance their collaboration on zettascale architecture.

“Our planned investments are a major step both for Intel and for Europe,” comments Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger. “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’re committed to playing an essential role in shaping Europe’s digital future for decades to come.”