Computers: Intel boss: PC supply chain could follow chips to Europe

Computers: Intel boss: PC supply chain could follow chips to Europe

Intel is aiming to break ground on its Magdeburg factory at the end of the year. Boss Pat Gelsinger has big plans to help the chip pioneer regain its former glory.

Intel wants to produce state-of-the-art chips in its planned factory in Magdeburg using a manufacturing technology that has not even been announced yet. A manufacturing technology now presented called 14A is expected to be ready for the market in 2026. The following procedure is currently being planned for the German location, Intel boss Pat Gelsinger told the dpa.

Intel estimates a construction time of around five years for the two so-called fabs in Magdeburg. Gelsinger hopes to break ground this year after German funding of around ten billion dollars for the site is released by the EU Commission in Brussels.

The Intel boss is betting that other parts of the computer supply chain from Asia will come to the West along with the chip factories. He pointed out that some computer manufacturers were already testing assembly in Eastern European countries such as Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Gelsinger: Laws needed to support the chip industry

Gelsinger assumes that after a first round, further laws to support the chip industry will be necessary in the USA and Europe. “And I would like to see more of a focus on the supply chain,” he said. The location of the semiconductor factories is the biggest and most difficult challenge.

Currently, the ultra-modern chips for smartphones are mainly produced in Taiwan by the manufacturer TSMC. The major concern in the West is that political tensions with China could disrupt semiconductor supplies – with devastating consequences for the economy. The chip shortage during the corona pandemic was a wake-up call for everyone, emphasized Gelsinger.

Currently, around 80 percent of global semiconductor production is in Asia and 20 percent in the West. Gelsinger set the goal of reaching 50 percent within ten years. Even if it were possible to bring around half of the production of state-of-the-art chips to the West at the end of this decade, a lot would have been achieved in securing supply chains, emphasized Gelsinger.

Intel wants to become the chip manufacturer for the entire world

He wants to establish Intel more as a contract manufacturer for other chip developers. To achieve this, the manufacturing business will become an independent unit – with chip development from Intel as the initial largest customer. Gelsinger emphasizes that the company wants to become a chip manufacturer for the entire world.

When he started the realignment, the situation at the semiconductor pioneer was “precarious,” said Gelsinger. The production of an entire generation of chips was outsourced due to problems with the company’s own production. If this had happened to another generation, the gap would no longer have been made up and no one would have been able to turn things around, he was convinced.

Source: Stern

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