Re: Italy makes quite a bit of sense for a semiconductor fab
I don’t think Intel's fab location strategy is about semiconductor knowledge or prowess.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said “Europe has two jewels. One is ASML, the most advanced lithography, and the other is IMEC, the most advanced semiconductor research in the world.” I would, however, be surprised if Intel were to choose the Netherlands (AMSL) or Belgium (IMEC) for a plant. I get the impression Intel is not looking for fabs near suppliers (be that material or knowledge) but near customers.
Hence Intel hasn’t chosen Germany’s semiconductor knowledge cluster dubbed “Silicon Saxony” near Dresden but opted for building a fab in Magdeburg. Magdeburg is roughly equidistant between Volkswagen’s biggest factory and Tesla’s new factory. That may or may not be a coincidence but it does give me the impression that it’s not knowledge clusters they’re looking for.
If Intel were to come to the UK, and I believe they ruled that out years ago, I suspect it wouldn’t be around knowledge cluster Cambridge (ARM, Raspberry PI) but rather around a manufacturing cluster (West Midlands?).