Intel boss Pat Gelsinger has announced in an interview with the BBC that a potential new chip fab will no longer be built in Britain citing Brexit as the reason for the decision. Instead it looks as though a European country will host Intel's fab.
Before the United Kingdom made its decision to exit the European Union by a tiny margin in a 2016 referendum, it "would have been a site that we would have considered,” according to Gelsinger. “Post-Brexit,” he added, “we now have about 70 proposals for sites across Europe from maybe 10 different countries. We're hopeful that we'll get to agreement on a site, as well as support from the EU... before the end of this year."
Intel’s interest in building a new plant has only strengthened following the worldwide chip shortage that has seen prices pushed up for products such as GPUs and processors used in new cars. The US firm hopes to invest $95bn (£70bn) on new and upgraded chip plants in Europe over the next ten years. "Just everything is short right now. And even as I and my peers in the industry are working like crazy to catch up, it's going to be a while," Gelsinger said.
That spending matches that of Intel’s rivals in the chip-fabrication market, with Taiwan-based TSMC, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of microchips, spending $100bn over three years, and Samsung putting $205bn into its own semiconductor plants. Intel currently outsources some of its chip manufacturing, but hopes to take it in-house with the development of new plants.
"It is clearly part of the motivation of a globally balanced supply chain that nobody should be too dependent on somebody else," Gelsinger told the BBC.