Last April, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger visited Europe, scouting locations for a new mega fab. European chip manufacturing expansion plans will form an essential part of Intel's IDM 2.0 strategy. Since Gelsinger visited Europe, there has been speculation about Intel mega fab locations in Germany, France, Italy -- or even Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg. Today, the German state broadcaster for Saxony-Anhalt, MDR, claims that Intel has chosen Magdeburg as the site for a chip-making mega fab.
According to the report, Intel chose Magdeburg over two other sites in Germany in a hotly contested race. Dresden was promoted heavily by that city's governance and the likes of Hubert Lakner, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems. Another contender was the much smaller Bavarian town of Penzing; however, Bavaria was an earlier hot tip for success in this race.
Magdeburg's charms aren't insignificant. It is centrally located within the continent of Europe. MDR touts the location's "attractive commercial areas" and IT talent pool streaming from the local university. The industrial area of Eulenberg, southwest of the city, with easy access to the A14 motorway, will likely be the actual mega fab building location.
It is estimated that the mega fab will employ over 1,000 people directly in well-paid positions, and of course, the locality will benefit from the commerce when it is established. Intel's investment to prepare and get the new mega fab running is estimated to be somewhere in the region of tens of billions of Euros.
Intel has yet to name any European mega fab sites officially, so the breaking news from MDR must be taken with a pinch of salt at the time of writing. We shouldn't have to wait long until the news becomes official, though, as Intel could make the announcements public next Friday, March 4.
There should be one other site chosen in Europe to fulfill Intel's IDM 2.0 plans of supplying Europe with enough chips from local facilities, especially with an eye on the automotive industry. The second facility coming to Europe has been tipped to be an advanced semiconductor packaging plant in Italy.
It also must be mentioned that Intel's investment in Europe relies on passing the EU Chips Act by the European Commission. The EU Chips Act would unlock a promotional development package worth over €30 billion, in total, through 2030. This Act is expected to get rubber-stamped shortly.