Intel has begun construction of two new chip factories in Ocotillo, Arizona. Thus, the company’s strategy for its own products remains unchanged: it will continue to focus on manufacturing them independently. At the same time, the expansion of production meets the increased ambitions of the processor giant – Intel announced its intention to become a major player in the market for contract manufacturing of semiconductors.
During the Intel Unleashed: Engineering The Future event, CEO Pat Gelsinger said, “Intel is and will remain a leading process engineer, a major semiconductor manufacturer and a leading silicon supplier worldwide.“.
At the event, it was announced that Intel will begin to actively promote its services as a manufacturer of semiconductor devices for external customers who do not have their own manufacturing facilities. To serve these customers, Intel will create a subsidiary of Intel Foundry Services (IFS), headed by Randhir Thakur, the company’s current senior vice president.
It is with an eye to IFS that the construction of two new factories in Arizona has begun, which are needed so that Intel can meet the growing demand for silicon chips not only from the company itself, but also from external customers. Intel plans to invest $ 20 billion in the construction of these factories. According to the plan, they will start working in 2024. The factories will be equipped with advanced production equipment focused on the most modern technological processes and the use of EUV lithography.
Gelsinger promised that IFS will become an important player in the market, the total capacity of which will grow to $ 100 billion by 2025. At the same time, the company will be ready to provide external customers with access to the most advanced technological processes and packaging methods, and to produce a wide variety of chips for them, including processors with ARM and RISC-V architectures, despite the fact that such products can compete with the promoted Intel x86 architecture. As follows from the slide shown at the event, such companies as Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm can become Intel clients.
Intel currently owns four manufacturing facilities in the United States. In addition to the Arizona complex to be expanded, the company also has facilities in Massachusetts, New Mexico and Oregon. It also manufactures chips in Ireland, Israel and has a factory in China. This list is not limited to. Intel has promised to announce the next round of expansion in the US, Europe and other regions of the world during the year. Thus, the IFS enterprise has every chance of becoming an American or European alternative to Asian contract manufacturers. This is directly in line with the course outlined by President Biden, one of whose priorities is the development of domestic semiconductor production.
Along the way, it was announced that Intel is entering into a partnership with IBM to improve technologies related to the manufacture and packaging of chips. In the long term, it is assumed that this will not only help the company, but also increase the “competitiveness of the American semiconductor industry” as a whole.
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