Intel has begun building two chip manufacturing plants in Arizona at a cost of $ 10 billion each once they are fully equipped.
But they won’t go into production in time to end the semiconductor shortage that is crippling automakers and many other industries.
Intel is the world’s largest provider of servers, desktop computers, and mobile computers. It is in the midst of a business transition to make custom chips for its customers. Intel has tested this cast model twice before.
Industry under pressure
This requires Intel to cooperate with chip design software developers and share the details of its chip manufacturing process with customers so they can design custom chips.
The Intel factories will join two other factories already operating at the same site in Arizona. Two other locations will be announced later this year, also on the same site. Intel is also expected to announce new chip manufacturing plants in Europe by the end of the year.
Intel has been under geopolitical pressure from the US government to keep advanced chip manufacturing on US soil. The current leader in chip technology is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC), but Intel says it is catching up and will regain its leadership position.
TSMC’s chips are vital to the US military and commercial markets, but its position in Taiwan leaves it vulnerable to disruption from China and its sword strikes in the region.
Intel bets on concessions
Intel is banking on sizeable concessions stemming from geopolitical issues and its leading position in the market. These concessions could take the form of tax relief and support for the construction of new infrastructure around your factories.
Semiconductor manufacturing used to require many workers, but today’s production lines are fully automated due to the size and weight of silicon wafers.
The industry has improved dramatically since it started in Silicon Valley and moved to Arizona and New Mexico. Silicon Valley has some of the largest superfund sites in the country, toxic archives from its past.
The chip industry uses more toxic chemicals than any other, but it does so with great skill: it is capable of depositing layers a few atoms wide and continually developing new materials.