Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has once again called on the US House of Representatives and Senate to urgently reach agreement on the CHIPS Act.
The CHIPS Act is a US law designed to facilitate the relocation of more of the semiconductor supply chain in the face of rising tensions with China. Right now, just over 10% of chip manufacturing takes place in the United States.
Once passed, the law will unlock tens of billions of dollars in federal funding for semiconductor research and manufacturing, much of which will land in Intel’s pocket. The US House and Senate agree on the need for the legislation, but have been slow to iron out the details.
Speaking to the press during a Q&A session at Intel Vision 2022, Gelsinger explained that the company’s current fab construction and expansion plans are “either on track or in ahead of schedule.” However, he also warned that the CHIPS Act is needed to “speed up the industry”.
“It is very important that the US House and Senate finish the CHIPS Act. Just do this fucking thing,” he said.
Intel’s manufacturing strategy
In early 2021, Intel announced an overhaul of its embedded device manufacturing strategy, which the company called IDM 2.0. The overall goal is to position Intel at the forefront of chip design and manufacturing during a time of unprecedented demand and growing geopolitical tensions.
Under IDM 2.0, Intel created a new business arm called Intel Foundry Services (IFS), a pure foundry division that competes directly with companies like TSMC, making semiconductors designed by other companies.
In support of the new strategy, the company revealed in January that it would spend $20 billion on a state-of-the-art manufacturing campus in Ohio. This 1,000-acre “mega-site” will house up to eight separate factories, making it one of the largest facilities in the world.
Intel also said it would inject an additional $3 billion into a extension for its D1X factory in Oregon. The expansion will apparently pave the way for next-generation technologies that will underpin new chips for personal and business computers, 5G networks, cloud servers and more.
In Europe, meanwhile, Intel has pledged to spend 80 billion euros ($88 billion) over the next decade, across a litany of projects. Perhaps the biggest commitment was a €17 billion ($18.5 billion) investment in a massive new facility in Germany, dubbed Silicon Junction.
During the Intel Vision keynote, Gelsinger explained that he was proud of the investment made to date in increasing manufacturing capacity in Europe and the United States. However, he also hinted that there was a lot more to come.
“The world doesn’t just need more chips, it needs a better supply chain – a diverse, secure and geographically balanced supply chain,” he said.
“Intel is bringing new manufacturing capabilities online as quickly as possible. But we are just beginning to provide this balanced and resilient supply chain.