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German State Media Reports Intel Will Open Mega Fab in Magdeburg

Germany
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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.

Mark Tyson
Mark Tyson

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.

  • watzupken
    To be honest, I feel very nervous for Intel after reading their hyper ambitious fab expansion plans. There are supply constraints from fab at this point, but I feel the issue is not purely fab related, since there are issues with raw material supplies and manpower shortage as well. In addition, will the demand continue to be red hot? For all you know, there is a chance that Intel is one day going to have idle fabs that will cost them dearly each year.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    These are not going to be FABs for internal use but rather for their IDM 2.0 strategy, they will be making arm, risc-v, x86, whatever people want from them.
    With only tsmc samsung and glofo supplying for the whole world, and being backed up all the time, there should be plenty of customers lining up.
    The world isn't going to go backwards, everything comes with a computer these days from cars to fridges, and that's not going to change.
    Also most of the shortages where due to the car makers buying everything up and these FABs are going to be feeding that industry.

    This goes together with intel plans for metaverse where all these computerized appliances will be able to connect to give you better performance.
    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/newsroom/opinion/powering-metaverse.html#gs.q4umwl
    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/newsroom/news/idm-manufacturing-innovation-product-leadership.html#gs.q4v6w8
    Building a world-class foundry business, Intel Foundry Services. Intel announced plans to become a major provider of U.S.– and Europe-based foundry capacity to serve the incredible global demand for semiconductor manufacturing. To deliver this vision, Intel is establishing a new standalone business unit, Intel Foundry Services (IFS), led by semiconductor industry veteran Dr. Randhir Thakur, who will report directly to Gelsinger. IFS will be differentiated from other foundry offerings with a combination of leading-edge process technology and packaging, committed capacity in the U.S. and Europe, and a world-class IP portfolio for customers, including x86 cores as well as ARM and RISC-V ecosystem IPs. Gelsinger noted that Intel’s foundry plans have already received strong enthusiasm and statements of support from across the industry.
    Reply