Intel has recently announced that it will invest more than €33 billion ($36 billion) in supporting chipmaking across the European Union.
The EU is aiming to become more self-reliant when it comes to the manufacture of semiconductors. Currently, the EU relies on Asia and the U.S. for semiconductors, and the billions of dollars it costs to set up chip foundries has deterred European nations from attempting to become larger players in the industry.
For roughly the past two years, there has been a shortage of some types of semiconductors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which put a strain on supply chains as demand for electronics surged. Intel and the EU hope this investment will not only help to alleviate the shortage, but also prevent future shortages of a similar nature from ever happening.
For starters, Intel said it plans to build two new factories in Madgeburg, Germany. These factories will aim to produce chips that are two nanometers or fewer in width, using the most advanced chip manufacturing technology presently available.
Germany has many assets that could lend themselves to becoming what Intel calls “Silicon Junction,” a mega-site the firm expects will connect other centers of innovation and manufacturing across the country and region. Germany already has a talented and skilled workforce, pre-existing infrastructure, and an existing ecosystem of suppliers and customers.
Intel expects to invest roughly €17 billion in the German facilities, and the investment will likely lead to the creation of 3,000 permanent jobs at the company, not to mention 7,000 temporary construction jobs.
Intel will not be investing just in Germany, however. Its European plans also call for a new R&D and design hub in France, and it will invest in R&D, manufacturing, and foundry services in Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Spain.
Approximately €12 billion of the €33 billion is expected to be invested in one facility in Leixlip, Ireland, which will double the facility’s manufacturing space. By the time the expansion is complete, Intel said it will have spent more than €30 billion in Ireland.
Intel, which is the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world by revenue, said the current €33 billion spend is just part of a broader package. The company said it expects to invest as much as €80 billion in Europe over the next decade.