Intel to set aside production at its massive production complex near Leixlip, Co. Kildare for auto chips. This should be up and running next spring.
The company recognises the plight of global vehicle makers and plans to grow significantly in this market, which is suffering great delays and shortages that have crippled production.
Intel has placed vehicle makers as a key strategic priority. While most of the other chip manufacturing industry farms out production, Intel make most of their profits from selling the computer processors it designs and manufactures for themselves.
However, Intel says that it is now actively working with vehicle makers and also their suppliers as part of a major effort to make use of its production capabilities.
Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger said at a press conference at the IAA Munich Motor Show yesterday (Tuesday), that it will convert an unspecified level of that plant’s output to producing other companies’ designs aimed at the automotive industry.
He also said that Intel could invest circa 80 billion euros to boost European capacity over the next ten years. He added that they will announce the locations of a couple of major new European chip fabrication plants later this year. Unlike the change at the Leixlip plant, the new European plants will be unlikely to ease the current shortage, expected by well informed sources to last in to 2023.
Gelsinger again – he said: “Cars are becoming computers with tyres. You (the auto industry) need us and we need you. The aim is to create a centre of innovation in Europe, for Europe.”
He concluded by saying: “Intel believes chips will make up 20 per cent of the cost of vehicles by 2030. That is a five-fold increase from 4 per cent of the cost in 2019”.
Since 1989, Intel has invested $15 billion in Ireland creating the most advanced industrial campus in Europe. Today, alongside advanced manufacturing, Intel in Ireland has come to represent a diversity of activities across the spectrum of Intel business from cutting edge research to design. Intel has 4,900 employees across Ireland.
The company has turned the 360-acre former stud farm at Leixlip into one of the most technologically advanced manufacturing locations in Europe. This facility is the largest private investment ever made in the history of the Irish State.
The Leixlip campus is home to a semiconductor wafer fabrication facility, which in recent years, has undergone an upgrade project that has enabled the site to be a key location for production of Intel’s 14nm process technology. The leading-edge silicon microprocessors that are manufactured in Ireland are at the heart of a variety of platforms and technology advancements that are essential to the way we learn, live, and work today.