IDM 2.0, or in layman’s terms, “We want to continue to making our own chips and make them better than TSMC” has been one of Pat Gelsinger’s key goals ever since he took over as Intel’s CEO earlier this year. To make this dream a reality, Gelsinger has been parlaying with not only the US government but European nations as well…all the while discouraging them from granting subsidies to Eastern foundries such as TSMC.
According to FT (paywalled), the Intel CEO met with several key figures of the EU, including the President of France and the Prime Minister of Italy with hopes of getting a starting discount. The original plan was to spread the total investment amount of $20 billion among several EU countries, but there were talks with the Italian PM where the idea of investing a whopping $100 billion in a high-end fab was also floated.
This kind of investment may seem far detached from reality considering the risk factors, but it’s worth noting that the amount would be split among different states including France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands over a period of ten years. This means that the immediate investment wouldn’t exceed $20-30 billion and that too if the EU can cough up such a massive capital.
For the moment, Intel hopes to build at least two cutting-edge fabs, with facilities scattered across different countries to ease the economic burden. For example, if the primary fab is set up in France, the packaging and verification/testing facilities would be located in Italy. The same goes for R&D and other experimental research facilities.
Intel’s primary fab in Europe is based out of Ireland. The chipmaker is planning to expand this campus to boost 7nm production with an investment of around $7 billion in the coming years. It’s worth noting that Intel didn’t mention anything about setting up additional facilities in the British Isles, Ireland, or Spain, primarily focusing on Germany, Netherlands, France, and Italy.