Intel to invest $ 20 billion to jumpstart US chipmaking

After dominating the computer chip industry for decades, Intel has in recent years seen its competitors overtake it. The company notably lost Apple last year, one of its main customers, as well as market share to its Asian rivals TSMC and Samsung. During an event entitled ” Intel Unleashed“Pat Gelsinger, the CEO of the American company, announced his new ambitions as well as a plan to invest 20 billion dollars (16.9 billion euros) in the construction of two new factories in Arizona.

In his presentation in a video on the company’s website, Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s new CEO, announced his plans for the coming years: “ Intel is back. The old Intel is now the new Intel” , did he declare. In other words, and while its predecessor wanted to abandon its historic chip manufacturing activity, Intel intends to return to its fundamentals. An investment of 20 billion dollars is planned in the construction of new factories, against 14 billion currently.

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In order to be able to continue to supply its customers, Intel will partly use TSMC’s factories for some of its products. On the other hand, the company should continue to manufacture the majority of its catalog in-house. A new unit, called Intel Foundry Services, must allow him to ” become a major supplier of foundry capabilities in the United States and Europe to meet the incredible global demand for semiconductor manufacturing“. Two new factories will be built in Arizona in order to respond quickly to the needs of its customers. Other similar announcements, in the United States and in Europe, are expected to follow later this year.

Intel has experienced several difficulties in recent years against Samsung or TSMC. The company has indeed accumulated many delays, its processors engraved in 7nm being scheduled for 2023 while its competitors are already producing chips in 5nm. Unlike founders like TSMC who design processors for other companies responsible for their design, Intel must design and manufacture its own chips originally created to meet high performance computing needs. It was therefore not able to see the arrival of chips for smartphones or other more energy-efficient mobile devices. But according to Pat Gelsinger, that should change: “ Even if the misstep on 10nm and 7nm was embarrassing for a company like ours, it is fixed“, He also added:” We understand what the problem is« .

Intel’s plan is in line with the plans of the American government, which wishes to reaffirm its technological leadership and its independence vis-à-vis Asian countries, just like Europe which wishes to regain its sovereignty in the field. Nevertheless, the delay to be made up is immense. The $ 20 billion effort is indeed a little pale in the face of the $ 28 billion TSMC plans to spend this year, and the massive investments that China wants to put in place to meet its own demands.

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