Intel sets up in Europe: a factory in France soon?

Written by Guillaume
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Aware that it has a chance to undercut its main Asian competitors, Intel is trying to get the good graces of European governments.

The Covid-19 pandemic was not just a major health problem. By undermining international supply chains, by generating shortages at all levels, it has also painfully illustrated the flaws of a thoughtless, unreasonable globalization. For more than a year now, many voices have been raised to demand, if not a European reindustrialization, at least a reflection on strategic sectors that Europe cannot do without. Present at all levels, in all everyday devices, electronics is obviously at the heart of these concerns.

The huge complex in Leixlip, Ireland, could soon no longer be the only Intel factory in Europe

In this respect, the American company Intel has a card to play. Despite a position increasingly challenged by South Korean and Taiwanese giants, it remains one of the behemoths in the design and manufacture of electronic components. It's no coincidence that since his appointment as head of Intel, Pat Gelsinger has made numerous declarations of intent about his desire to see Intel once again become a foundry serving other design companies. Intel is looking to use its strike force and this could also involve the construction of multiple production infrastructures in Europe, a continent that is suffering in this respect.

Intel is already established in Europe. It has several structures and good relations with its European partners. From this point of view, and even if the European governments would like to see the emergence of an electronics giant in their own colors, a broader agreement with Intel could be an interesting solution. This is the message that Pat Gelsinger seems to want to convey through his recent European tour. As the Financial Times explains, Intel would not have the idea to deal with a single country, for the construction of a single, large, factory.

The trend today would rather be towards the establishment of several production sites. The Bavarian factory, which has been mentioned many times, is at the heart of many rumors and would then be just one of many structures. Pat Gelsinger met with Emmanuel Macron and Mario Draghi to discuss the question of a set of units spread over several European countries, each of which would be responsible for a stage in the entire process (research and development, testing, production, packaging, etc.). Obviously, intense negotiations are still to come, but the Financial Times is already talking about a colossal investment by Intel: at least 20 billion euros for the establishment of two factories, which could then rise to 100 billion euros if six additional factories are added to the initial project. According to our colleagues, the main decisions will be made before the end of 2021.