In an interview with Politico, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has announced that the company is looking for subsidies in order to build an advanced semiconductor foundry in Europe. The chipmaker seeks a massive amount of 8 billion euros or $9.7 billion in public subsidies with an aim to expand the semiconductor manufacturing capabilities of the EU. Although this hasn’t been confirmed just yet, it’s likely that Intel will want to establish a 7nm fab on the continent. The company already has an advanced process foundry in Ireland which is expected to expand production in the coming years.
Gelsinger reportedly met the European Commissioner, Thierry Breton yesterday to discuss semiconductor strategies to tackle the global chip shortages. The EU is considering the formation of a coalition of domestic chipmakers to increase the percentage of semiconductors manufactured on the continent. However, Intel is a US-based company, and if the latter can place sanctions on China, it can do so to just about any country in the world that doesn’t align with its foreign policies.
What we’re asking from both the U.S. and the European governments is to make it competitive for us to do it here compared to in Asia.Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO
At the moment, Intel is using the promise of a homegrown fab (which means more jobs and better control over chip production) to coerce the US and European governments into providing subsidies. The US president, Joe Biden has pledged $50 billion in spending on the domestic semiconductor industry. However, the legislation is yet to be passed and the outcome remains in limbo.