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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Intel: how its factories are at the heart of the new strategy of the world leader in semiconductors

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Intel announced a significant transformation of its business model last week. If it is still inclined to subcontract part of its chips to TSMC, the processor giant will also become a competitor of the Taiwanese under the leadership of its new boss Pat Gelsinger.
How? ‘Or’ What? By opening its factories. Specifically by launching a new entity called Intel Foundry Services, which will now take the lead across the industry.
At the forefront of specific processes – 3D stacking of elements ( EMIB, Foveros, etc.), SuperFin design – Intel is also behind in the field of engraving fineness. Never mind! The semiconductor giant is expected to begin constructing four new factories (“fabs”) this year.
Two American sites are already validated for the trifle of $ 20 billion, and Intel is hunting for subsidies for the other two sites, including one in Europe.
Intel’s colossal investment – at least 20 billion, perhaps double if the other two sites are validated during the year – is part of a complex context.
First of all, a mind-boggling technological race with TSMC, which has just announced its 100 billion three-year plan. Then, a race against time to reduce as quickly as possible the shortage of chips the world is experiencing following the Covid-19 pandemic. Against China, finally, with the Americans – and Intel’s apparent desire – to pose as a Western counter-power in a market where Asia represents 80% of production volumes, against only 15% for the United States.
What about Europe in all of this? Five tiny per cent, with a horizon that would impose 150 billion dollars of investment over three years to catch up.

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