Intel Breaks Ground on $20b Chip Factories

The new $20 billion capacity expansion will bring Intel’s total Arizona-based investment to more than $50 billion.

By Joel Davies -

Intel has broken ground on two new chip factories at the company’s Ocotillo campus in Chandler, Arizona. In a ceremony attended by senior government officials and community leaders, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger celebrated the start of construction on the largest private investment in state history and reiterated the company’s commitment to investing in U.S. semiconductor leadership.

The silicon and subsequent semiconductor shortage have been a steady issue since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Last April, the heads of TSMC and Intel warned that the shortage could last for more than two years. Further concerns about America’s lack of semiconductor market share came from the American government, with the realisation that advanced domestic chipmaking capacity and capabilities are critical now and for the future.

With its new IDM 2.0 strategy, Intel aims to help “rebuild U.S. leadership” and “bring more balance to the global supply chain”. Intel is the only semiconductor manufacturer with leading-edge process and packaging research capabilities in the United States, and the company is investing in domestic capacity to support the surging worldwide demand for chips across multiple segments, from PCs to automobiles to the data centre and more.

“Today’s celebration marks an important milestone as we work to boost capacity and meet the incredible demand for semiconductors: the foundational technology for the digitization of everything”, said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO. “We are ushering in a new era of innovation – for Intel, for Arizona and for the world.

“This $20 billion expansion will bring our total investment in Arizona to more than $50 billion since opening the site over 40 years ago. As the only U.S.-based leading-edge chipmaker, we are committed to building on this long-term investment and helping the United States regain semiconductor leadership”.

Keyvan Esfarjani (from left), Intel senior vice president, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey stand at the Intel worksite in Chandler, Arizona. Image: Intel Corporation.With the addition of the two new factories – Fab 52 and Fab 62 – Intel’s Ocotillo campus will house a total of six fabs. The new investment will create more than 3,000 high-tech Intel jobs, 3,000 construction jobs, and support an estimated 15,000 additional indirect jobs in the local community. When fully operational in 2024, the new fabs will manufacture Intel’s most advanced process technologies, including Intel 20A featuring the new RibbonFET and PowerVia innovations.

The two new fabs in Arizona will support the demand for Intel’s products and provide committed capacity for the recently announced Intel Foundry Services (IFS). “With Intel Foundry Services, Intel is opening its fab doors wide to serve the needs of foundry customers around the globe – many of whom are looking for more geographical balance in the semiconductor supply chain”, said IFS President Randhir Thakur.

“Customers are enthusiastic about these capabilities. And we have plans for continued investments in the United States, but we can’t do it without government partnership to level the playing field. As Congress returns from recess, we urge both chambers to send a bipartisan bill to President Biden aimed at bolstering American competitiveness and investing in advanced semiconductor manufacturing and R&D”.

You can find more information about Intel and its two new chip factories on its website.

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