Intel is looking to expand its manufacturing capacity in Europe, with an investment of around €80 billion or $100 billion over the next ten years. The new facilities will be used to research and produce advanced process nodes, most notably 2nm and 1.8nm (20A, 18A). At present, the chipmaker is leveraging its 7nm (formerly 10nm ESF) node for most of its latest offerings. TSMC, on the other hand, has been mass-producing 5nm chips for over a year now, with 4nm production planned for later this year, and 3nm in 2023.
Following the $100 billion long-term investment plan in Ohio, Intel plans to simultaneously match its foundry efforts in Europe with help from local governments. The primary target is the manufacture of 2nm and 1.8nm chips in these future fabs which means that they won’t be operational anytime soon. Considering that the 2nm node will begin mass production no sooner than 2024, it’d be safe to say that construction should start later this year.
The European Commission has declared the expansion of European production capacities a geostrategic necessity, on account of the ongoing supply shortages affecting various EU companies. Furthermore, the 2nm mark has been set as the target to make sure the region doesn’t fall behind in the race to smaller and faster semiconductors.
According to a study, demand for cutting-edge chips in Europe will increase exponentially in the next few years, more than doubling the next eight years, going from 19% in 2022 to 43% in 2030. Overall, the demand for all kinds of semiconductors will also more than double in the coming decade.