Intel Plans to Revitalize American Chip Manufacturing

Pat Gelsinger Intel CEO
Web Summit/FLickr

Chip manufacturer Intel has had some setbacks in recent years but has now unveiled a plan to revitalize U.S. chip manufacturing. Along with major upgrades to existing manufacturing facilities, the chip giant plans a major new facility in Arizona. In the near future, the company will announce the location of a $100 billion manufacturing complex with the goal of raising American chip manufacturing to 30 percent of worldwide production.

CNET reports that despite setbacks in recent years as the company worked to modernize its manufacturing process, computer chip maker Intel has plans to revitalize the U.S. chip development industry. In the past half-decade Intel has seen its longtime rival AMD take over the processor market and lost Mac business to Apple’s own in-house powerful M-series chips. The company has since fallen behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung in overall chip manufacturing and generally has had a tough time maintaining its market.

Manual probe system for RF test of semiconductor silicon wafers. Selective focus.

Manual probe system for RF test of semiconductor silicon wafers. (genkur/Getty Images)

So what is Intel’s new plan to kickstart the company’s success? Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s new chief executive, wants to restore Intel’s status as the leader of the semiconductor industry but doing so requires a number of manufacturing upgrades and the delivery of powerful new computer chips.

Intel plans to release its Alder Lake chips for gaming PCs this year and laptops next year. Its computer server chips named Ponte Vecchio and Sapphire Rapids are expected to be released in 2022 and its Metro Lake chips for PCs in 2023. Gelsinger is aware that Intel will need to work hard as with “a decade of bad decisions, this doesn’t get fixed overnight,” but Gelsinger seems optimistic, stating: “But the bottom is behind us and the slope is starting to feel increasingly strong.”

CNET reports:

Intel’s choice, to coast or to rebuild, is emblematic of one that the entire United States faces. Most of the country’s 20th century manufacturing leadership has migrated to Asia, particularly to China.

Intel is among the most prominent examples of a company trying to keep US manufacturing vibrant. As I walk through its chip fabrication plants — “fabs” — Gelsinger’s plans are underway. In the CH4 fab, employees wheel around carts packed with Ponte Vecchio processors, assembled from dozens of smaller “chiplets” and likely destined for the Energy Department’s 2022 supercomputer, Aurora. Although Meteor Lake won’t arrive for more than a year, Intel is making dummy versions to debug new chip packaging technology.

More fabs are on the way, too. In an enormous empty patch of dirt at its existing Arizona site, Intel has just begun building fabs 52 and 62 at a total cost of $20 billion, set to make Intel’s most advanced chips, starting in 2024. Later this year, it hopes to announce the US location for its third major manufacturing complex, a 1,000-acre site costing about $100 billion. The spending commitment makes this year’s $3.5 billion upgrade to its New Mexico fab look cheap.

Intel aims to restore the U.S. market share of chip manufacturing, which has dropped from 37 percent in 1990 to just 12 percent today. Gelsinger commented:  “Over the decade in front of us, we should be striving to bring the US to 30% of worldwide semiconductor manufacturing.”

In June, the U.S. Senate approved a bill to provide $52 billion to U.S. semiconductor companies that are trying to keep manufacturing in the U.S.

Read more at CNET here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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