back to article Another US president, time for another big Intel factory promise by another CEO

Intel puts on a show for its biggest manufacturing announcements, with episodes every few years using a rotating cast of CEOs and US presidents. Intel boss Pat Gelsinger and President Joe Biden were the latest to join the series, on Friday jointly announcing the chip maker's investment of $20bn in plants near Columbus, Ohio. …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Chipzilla

    Intel has certainly had it's problems over the years (as ElReg has documented). But their recent investments seem real, even if the chips they provided are less advanced than they promised. As for the politicians, they'll jump on any coattail they see. It's certainly not confined to America.

    For myself, I would like to see Intel do better, both for the touted supply chain and for the competition. An AMD dominated world is different but not necessarily better than the old Intel dominated world. Ultimately domination leads to stagnation (see IBM).

  2. steamnut

    Disappointed?

    Which such a large US investment that leaves very little for any EU sites. The planned EU IC domination will have to wait I guess.

    1. Len

      Re: Disappointed?

      Why do you think these US investments would suddenly reverse the existing plans (fabs in Germany, Italy and France IIRC) in Europe? I very much doubt this was all thought up last week so the North American and European plants will have been part of a longer term strategy to produce closer to their customers.

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Disappointed?

      I cannot remember anybody talking about a EU domination. Not that I had anything against it but domination doesn't always stay fixed and that is perhaps as well.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Wishful thinking

    "a signal to China and to the rest of the world that from now on our essential manufactured products in this country will be made in the United States of America"

    So, clothes are not essential ?

    It would be hilarious if Beijing answered : "Fine, make your sweatpants now" and closed down all the sweatshops that toil for next to nothing to provide us with our precious Gucci and GAP trinkets (that we pay hand over fist for).

    1. GuildenNL

      Re: Wishful thinking

      Most clothing production for N.America has already moved out of China to other SE Asia countries. And the move has been underway for at least five years.

      1. Jon 37
        Unhappy

        Re: Wishful thinking

        Yes. Because Chinese wages are too high, and Chinese sweatshop safety standards are higher (and therefore more expensive) than in those other countries in SE Asia.

        No, I'm not joking. Wish I was.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Wishful thinking

          @Jon 37

          "No, I'm not joking. Wish I was."

          Surely thats a good thing? Billions more brought out of such poverty of sweatshops which is a step up from dying in a field as a peasant. Which of course moves more people out of peasant life into sweatshops.

  4. ShadowSystems Silver badge

    I'll believe it when I see it.

    Promises are nothing more than smoke being blown up your arse. Until the promiser proves their words & makes the promise a reality, don't bother to hold your breath.

    Thousands of jobs making 100K+ a year each? Uh huh, pull the other one, it's got bells on.

    1. Cheshire Cat

      Re: I'll believe it when I see it.

      That's an *average* of $100k per year. So just pay $20m/y to the ten C level people and $30k/y to a few thousand drones...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll believe it when I see it.

      A recent Wharton Business school report shows just how out of touch its students are. One asked 'is $250K a low starting salary for a graduate?'.

      There is a lot of often deliberate misuse of average and median. Those Wharton Ivy Leaguers are so divorced from reality that it is little wonder that the USA is so divided.

      1. KBeee Silver badge

        Re: I'll believe it when I see it.

        Also asked what they thought was the average salary in the US was, with one bright spark answering "$800,000?"

        And NYC Mayoral candidates being asked what they thought was the average property price in NY was, with answers ranging from $90,000 to $100,000 - it's $900,000.

  5. Kev99 Silver badge

    What neither Intel nor the state tells the poor taxpayers is intel's dream factory is going to cost the taxpayer over $1 BILLION in an area slowly becoming Columbus' hoity-toity bed room suburb, where such poor folk as the billionaire founder of L Brands (Victoria's Secret, The Limited, etc.) Wexner lives. Where the u7nemployment is around 5% but they can't get anyone to fill the umpteen thousand job openings Intel pulled down $77 BILLION+ in 2020 yet the poor taxpayers have kiss intel's arse with tax breaks.

  6. PBealo

    Sure, tens of thousands of semiconductor industry professionals are yearning to move to the middle of Ohio! Who wouldn't?!?!

    1. doesnothingwell

      Midwestern paradise

      Yep, come to Ohio we have conservatives, rednecks, and legalized matrimonial rape (if she's passed out and can't say no.) Our politicians just got caught taking 60 million in bribes from energy lobbyist so we're ready for some Intel bribes.

  7. davebarnes

    Workers?

    Where will they find thousands of nimble-fingered Chinese to staff the factory in Ohio?

    1. David Pearce

      Re: Workers?

      Chip fabs have very few workers. The diffused wafers get flown to Penang for package and test, which is the labour intensive step

  8. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Dirt

    If you read "Laptop from hell", they it should be obvious. Russia and China have too much dirt on Democrats so they are mostly busy with damaging the economy while throwing people who don't pay attention a bone here and there.

    1. Ace2 Silver badge

      Re: Dirt

      These lies get really tiresome.

    2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Dirt

      Have I come to the wrong place?

      I thought El Reg. was a UK Mag.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Dirt

        It's good to read what's happening across the pond as there are plenty of similarities to what's going on here. Covid response failure, immigration crisis, energy crisis, inept leader and a cabinet of WEF great reset sycophants trying to bring in socialism by the backdoor.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dirt

          Socialism? I thought the "Great Reset" was supposed to bring in fascism by the backdoor, making the world even more unequal. You people really need to make up your mind.

          1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: Dirt

            Sergio seems to be both anti-Communist and anti-capitalist . . . which pretty much means that he's a budding or actual Fascist.

      2. BananaPeal

        Re: Dirt

        it's El Reg puncto com now ... none of that .co.uk swag, fam

  9. The Empress

    At what cost to the state?

    All of these commitments come with massive allowances from state and local government, typically in the form of tax abatements and deferrals. The agreement is then tied to promises on the number of jobs they will create. The problem is that most of these plans fail, badly. So state and local government doesn't get their tax money, causing them to increase taxes on the rest of us and then the jobs don't materialize anyway.

    1. Ashentaine

      Re: At what cost to the state?

      If it goes like any other time some big company claims they want to set up manufacturing plants here in Central Ohio, what will happen is:

      They'll come in, see the inadequate and crumbling road network around the Columbus area that doesn't have enough room to properly expand, get a year or two of pushback from the people in the area who don't care about the local impact so much as they see an opportunity to get a chunk of money in their pocket, squeeze a more favorable and one-sided offer from some desert location even more desperate for employment, then quietly duck out when the next election comes around.

      So no cost, other than a lot of wasted time on everyone's part.

  10. Rattus
    Flame

    We don't need no stinking 7nm process

    Shortages of semiconductors (and for the first time, AFICT, passives as well) are not going to be solved by building a fab plant for ever decreasing (and mis-titled) die processes.

    Sure we there are shortages of the very high profit margin uber processors and GPUs, FPGAs, and the high volume competitive RAM & FLASH devices as well, but we are short not just these digital chips but the Analogue controllers as well: Just as likely to be unavailable are SMPS controllers, Interface drivers, ADCs and DAC and such, we are also short of desecrate semiconductors - Diodes, FETs and the like. This is not going to be solved by opening a new fab plant (in several years time) with ever smaller geometry, these devices run on much, much bigger process technologies because these devices can't be built on those lines.

    Existing capacity has fallen, a product range is forever widening with more and more 'application specific' ICs for just a dedicated use, of cause it is going to be hard to supply demand. Add to that a pandemic that has interrupted manufacturing and the entire supply chin dries up.

    As manufactures found that lead times for orders were going out for one device they began to stockpile for every device used in their products - after all you can't build an electronic device with just 90% of the parts... this meant that the parts that were readily available in the supply chain have seen a sudden surge in sales, and stock of these is now also short.

    It is going to take a while to re-seed the supply chains. Initial capacity during the restart is being taken taken up by single order high value customers, and then tier 2 customers (such as the automotive industry), it will be a while before there is ample stock so that the rest of us (catalogue and non direct distribution customers) can continue.

    The less profitable, and less in demand devices may well never be made again - No last time buy options, just quietly forgotten, or if there is an LTB it will be at the back of the queue. This will force a lot of re-design and perhaps retirement of products that would otherwise have continued for years to come. Stand buy for shortages of medical equipment and other low volume high value electronic products.

  11. EricB123 Bronze badge

    Yawn

    New president, same old crappy promises.

  12. GioCiampa
    Facepalm

    re: "announcing the chip maker's investment of $20bn"

    I assume that should read:

    "announcing that Ohio has promised us a huge tax relief package, meaning the effective cost to us is minimal"

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