Intel Purportedly Decides on Location for Multibillion-Euro Chip Factory

Intel in Italy
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel and the outgoing Italian government have seemingly settled on the town of Vigasio, Veneto, as the site for a multi-billion European chip fab in Italy according to unconfirmed reports. The town is located about 14km (9 miles) southwest of Verona, and has been named by two people familiar with the deal, sharing information with Reuters.

At first glance, Vigasio appears to be an unremarkable small town in the north of Italy, with a population of under 7,500 at the last census. However, it is located nearby key resources which were probably instrumental in its selection; close to the Brenner motorway and railway, and with good connections to Magdeburg, Germany according to the source report. A quick check reveals the purported Italian site and Magdeburg are nearly 1,000km apart (or about 600 miles), and an approx 10 hour drive.

(Image credit: Google Maps)

Though Intel considered many geographically diverse Italian sites in its hunt for the best location for a European advanced semiconductor packaging and assembly plant, it ended up with a shortlist of two in Italy’s northernmost regions. After extensive deliberations, Vigasio and a site in the Piedmont region were neck and neck in a shortlist of two. However, Reuters sources say the decision was made in Vigasio’s favor in early September.

No official announcement regarding Intel’s favored Italian location has been made so far. Reports say the information has been held back so as not to influence the election, in which far-right candidate Giorgia Meloni has today claimed victory. Meloni’s party, the Brothers of Italy, is described by the BBC as likely to form Italy’s most right wing party since WWII. 

It will be interesting to see what happens with the almost certain electoral victory of the Brothers of Italy. The election winner will have to put their seal of approval on the deal with Intel. Thus, a continual funding stream from Rome will flow to Intel under whatever new government is formed, and Intel can be relatively confident the same new government will continue to encourage its establishment of a wide range of complementary semiconductor operations within Europe.

It is hard to understand why any newly victorious political party would put roadblocks in front of Intel’s deal, which promises 1,500 full time jobs, plus an additional 3,500 jobs in local support industries. However, around Europe, host countries are typically footing 40% of Intel’s facility establishment costs and providing other perks.

If all goes to plan, the Italy-based advanced semiconductor packaging and assembly plant will begin operations between 2025-27. It will be joining two chipmaking plants in Magdeburg (Germany), another new fab in Leixlip (Ireland), a new R&D and chip design center in France, and a lab extension for Poland.

Intel plans to invest about 80 billion Euros ($77.5 billion) in Europe over the next decade.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • Chung Leong
    Intel must be making revisions to plans they made a year ago about investing in Europe. A fab uses an enormous among of electricity. The electricity market in Europe at the moment is just completely fubar. Businesses large and small are being driven to bankruptcy by bills that have increase by 500%--even 900%. Who can predict what the cost of energy will be when construction of these new facilities finish say ten years from now? Would an assembly plant in Italy make sense if other investments might not go through due to economic uncertainty? My guess is Intel will push the pause button, perhaps using the election results as an excuse.
  • kjfatl
    It takes about 4 years to build a large scale power plant. France can build a nuclear power plant in 4 years.
    The first 2 years of building a high end semiconductor plant are building the shell. The expensive part is the last 2 years. If the power situation is not resolved by then the equipment will be moved elsewhere into another partially build facility like Columbus OH fab #3.
  • crunchylayer4
    new palms must be greased
  • Chung Leong
    kjfatl said:
    It takes about 4 years to build a large scale power plant. France can build a nuclear power plant in 4 years.

    France is currently expecting the first of its newly planned reactors to come online in 2035 at the earliest. The planning stage started back in 2019. And here we're talking about installing new reactors in existing plants. Getting a new plant up and running in countries that had abandoned nuclear (Italy, Germany) or never had it (Poland) would take far longer.