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Intel chooses Germany for its new European semiconductor factory

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The rumor had been circulating for several months. Pat Gelsinger, the president of Intel, confirmed this Tuesday, March 15: the American semiconductor giant has chosen Germany to set up its European semiconductor factory.

This is the flagship measure of a colossal investment plan, amounting to 80 billion euros over the decade, and which will also concern Belgium, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy and Poland.

17 billion euros for the two factories in Magdeburg

The first phase of this plan amounts to 33 billion euros, of which a large half (17 billion) for the construction of two semiconductor manufacturing plants in Magdeburg, capital of the Land of Saxony-Anhalt, in former Germany from the east. The buildings should be erected from the first half of 2023 and production should start in 2027.

The construction of the site will employ 7,000 people, and, eventually, 3,000 employees will work there. If the city of Dresden had, for a time, been a favourite, the location of Magdeburg pleaded in its favor to develop there what Pat Gelsinger calls the “Silicon Junction”in the heart of Europe.

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A subsidized establishment

“This German Land must have been the one that provided the most subsidies for the installation of Intelsmiles François Bus, former manager of Texas Instruments and a good connoisseur of the sector. In addition, the Germans have good connections with the Americans, who already have a chip foundry installed in this country, Global Foundries. Finally, the powerful automotive industry had to play to convince Intel. »

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The reference to subsidies underlines the extent to which the establishment of Intel, a global giant but still set back compared to the Asians TSMC and Samsung, has been spurred on by the public authorities, starting with the European Commission.

Other beneficiary countries

Germany is not the only country to benefit from Intel’s investments. The American will invest 12 billion euros in the expansion of its chip manufacturing site in Leixlip, Ireland. And it plans, in Italy, an investment of more than 4 billion euros (1,500 employees) for the deployment of the Agrate site, where, in partnership with STMicroelectronics, Tower Semiconductor, an Israeli company in the sector including Intel acquired in February 2022.

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On the Saclay plateau, in the south of the Paris region, Intel plans to build a new research and development center with, from 2024, 450 employees, and eventually more than a thousand. The company also plans to expand its research laboratories in Gdansk (Poland) and Barcelona (Spain) by half.

This announcement is part of the hoped-for recovery of the Old Continent in semiconductors: the European Commission has set itself the objective of producing 20% ​​of world demand in 2030.

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