Intel has pledged €17 billion ($18.7 billion) to build a state-of-the-art semiconductor production site in Germany, marking the start of Europe’s ambitious bid to lure global chip makers back into the region.
The Santa Clara, California-based company has committed to spending 33 billion euros in a number of European countries, as part of a plan to allocate 80 billion euros to the region over the next decade. France will become home to a new center for chip research, and the company will expand its current production site in Ireland. Intel also announced that it is negotiating with Italy to open a new packaging site.
This announcement is part of CEO Pat Gelsinger’s attempt to reverse losses by developing the latest technology. The plant in Magdeburg, Germany, will attempt to produce chips smaller than 2 nanometers, something the company has yet to achieve.
The CEO’s focus on Europe comes at a time when the European Union is providing big subsidies, as the old continent is keen to regain some share in the chip market after the collapses of recent decades.
During the 1990s, the European Union accounted for nearly 20% of the world’s silicon chip production, according to figures cited by Brussels. But now it’s down to about 10%.
The European Union has now set itself an ambitious goal of having 20% of the world’s supply of chips come from Europe by 2030, which would mean quadrupling its production.
The European Union last month announced plans to liberalize public funding for the “first of its kind” in Europe, and recently unveiled an investment plan worth €45 billion in public and private funds to finance that plan.
Intel has not specified how much money it receives from European Union governments to expand into their countries.
EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said he welcomed Intel’s announcement, describing it as a “true European project” that would create thousands of jobs and “confirm that Europe is an attractive place for investment”.
“Europe will be a major player across the entire chip value chain, including in the fast-moving market for advanced technologies below 2nm chips produced in Europe,” Breton said in a statement.