back to article Intel may spend up to €80bn on chip plants in Europe over next ten years

Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger on Tuesday said he would be willing to pour up to €80bn (£68.8bn, $94.7bn) into its semiconductor fabs in Europe to increase capacity over the next decade. He added that the chip behemoth's Ireland factory would start making semiconductor components for carmakers. Chipzilla is hoping to expand its …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    Where is the bit...

    ... "if you give us, a multi-billion $ profit company, huge tax breaks, to employ a few hundred people"

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Where is the bit...

      They are only that open about it in the US...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where is the bit...

      Some news outlet reported Intel asked up to 8 billions in incentives although Intel denied that figure, and talked just about generic "needed investments" by EU countries.

  2. Mishak Silver badge

    "start making semiconductor components for carmakers"

    Very little of the silicon used in cars is made by Intel. Does this mean they're going to be offering foundry facilities for other vendors, or do they think that car companies are going to migrate to Intel platforms? Some of the infotainment systems will be using Intel, but that is not the case where functional safety is important (such as for braking) and cost is a major consideration.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: "start making semiconductor components for carmakers"

      There are surely some chips carmakers need that Intel is able to produce, either under license from the regular vendor or by virtue of the part being simple enough (or not safety critical) that automakers can easily use an equivalent part from Intel instead.

      The problem is that there are a lot of chips in modern cars, and Intel won't be able to supply them all, so unless other solutions are found for the chips Intel can't make the problem won't be solved. Still, it is better to do something than nothing, and Intel is likely able to make a lot of money supplying parts for which there is a worldwide shortage and plenty of pent up demand even if it is only for a year or two.

    2. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: "start making semiconductor components for carmakers"

      A good read of how Intel threw away it’s lead in mobility with StrongARM and XScale … in a blinkered obsession on Intel Atom which was never even close to being fit for purpose. Esp. Part#2.

      Much of this car Tech and Infotainment running on ARM… though wish Apple would sort out Wireless CarPlay FFS!!

      They still have an ARM licence so ….

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "The auto industry has been hit particularly hard"

    Yes. That's what happens when you don't ask for guaranteed shipments and protect your supply chain.

    Apple and Android did, and they got their shipments.

    The automotive industry needs to review its procurement practices. This is its lesson.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: "The auto industry has been hit particularly hard"

      Guaranteed allocations require payment up front. The auto industry has never had to do that before, because there's never been a worldwide supply crunch for fab capacity - even if their vendors automakers buy chips from couldn't buy from one foundry, they could go to another and with possibly a bit of tweaking have them make their chips.

      A lot of the supply chain disruption is delivery, too. There was (and maybe still is) a worldwide container shortage because containers were not where they needed to be, and many more than usual were sitting full in storage as there weren't trucks/trains available for final delivery. Everything got messed up when businesses closed and people were in lockdown meaning their purchases for their home increased. They weren't making the right kind of products (i.e. the different types of toilet paper used for home vs office) or set up to deliver them in the smaller quantities people want versus big business, restaurants, etc.

      There have been many shipping delays as ports were closed down or operating at reduced capacity during initial parts of the pandemic, and even very recently as China a month or two ago shut down the world's third largest port for two weeks because ONE CASE was found (for anyone wondering if China's low virus cases/deaths are a lie, this case is proof why they aren't - they take it way more seriously than we do in the US/EU) And then there was that ship getting stuck in the Suez Canal at exactly the worst possible time.

      There are also a lot of really weird "who knew there was this overlap?" cases like how massively increasing production of vaccine vials hurt the ability to package chips. Apparently the same sort of glass that's used in vials is used somehow in chip packaging, so when some of it was diverted to making vaccine vials it puts yet another pinch on chip production. We really ought to be recycling those vials, though one nurse in the US made a big chandelier out of them.

      1. Caver_Dave Silver badge

        Re: "The auto industry has been hit particularly hard"

        You forgot the drought in Taiwan.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: "The auto industry has been hit particularly hard"

          I don't think that actually ended up affecting anything. Didn't TSMC simply truck in water from another part of Taiwan? Fabs use a lot of water, but not so much that they couldn't afford to pay a few farmers not to irrigate and use the water they would used on their crops if there's a true shortage across a whole area.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EU Fabs

    Given esculating costs for the next generation in Ireland are likely to be around $20bn/fab and last 5 years, I suspect the majority of that investment is just on-going maintenance of the Leixlip facilities Fab 10 and Fab 14.

    My money would be on smaller research or test facilities given commitments and upgrade cycles in the existing 8 facilities in the US/Israel/Ireland amount to a significant amount of Investment assuming they can produce anything saleable...

  5. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Intel expects 20 per cent of the cost of new cars will be down to semiconductors by 2030

    This could mean one of several things :

    1. A £50,000 car would then contain £10,000 of computer hardware, which is enough to be able to run your own mobile hybrid cloud when you're on the move.

    2. The cost of chips is going to be going through the roof, and the chip giants will be subject to "shortages" for the next decade, carefully engineered to enable them to reach these price points.

    3. It's just some typical CEO bullshit that will be forgotten in 5 minutes time once everybody's concluded it was nonsense.

  6. Snapper

    Don't worry!

    It's fine, it's really fine.

    As this government is determined to kill the motor manufacturing industry in this country with its Brexit stupidity, we won't have to worry about Intel's chip delivery for it, will we.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't worry!

      Tell that to Nissan and Renault (or whatever they are called now)

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