Intel has submitted a proposal to Irish authorities for the expansion of its manufacturing site near Leixlip. According to the plans, Intel is exploring the construction of a brand-new building – one larger than their previously proposal – which in particular strongly hints that the chipmaker would be installing EUV lithography equipment.

Intel originally received permission to build its new fab on the west-side of its Leixlip campus back in 2017. However the company never began construction, as it did not have a strategic plan in place for boosting manufacturing capacities. Last year the company formally decided to significantly boost its manufacturing capacities by building new fabs in Oregon, Ireland, and Israel, as well as to furnish its Fab 42 in Arizona. These expansions are being undertaken in a bid to ramp up Intel's capacity for their forthcoming 7 nm process, which relies on a combination of DUV and EUV lithography tools. But first, Intel needs to get permission from the local authorities, which is why it recently submitted its plans to Kildare County Council and was picked up by a local newspaper.

The proposed fab will reportedly take four years to build and will cost Intel around $8 billion. The company expects that the new production facility will employ 1600 people after it becomes fully operational. Importantly, this long cycle means that even if Intel started this year (and they likely won't), the fab would not be completed until 2023. So it's widely expected that Intel would be preparing the fab for 7 nm EUV, if not a more advanced manufacturing process. This new fab would in turn be joining Intel’s existing fab in Leixlip, which currently makes chips using the company’s 14 nm process technology.

Now that Intel has formally submitted its expansion plans to local authorities, it will take the latter some time to approve it. Therefore, according to the local media, Intel would start any actual construction “over the next year or so”. This, of course, is assuming the plan even makes it that far; the formal submission of the plan does not mean that Intel will build the fab, as the company's intentions tend to change with the market. While Intel has a roadmap for its global manufacturing network expansion, it still needs approval from local authorities before the company can commit money to the project.

Alll told, the Irish fab is the latest in a series of fab plans from Intel. Besides the four fabs in Arizona, Ireland, Israel, and Oregon, Intel is also in talks to build another $11 billion fab in Israel.

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Sources: Intel, Intel, The Irish Times

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  • Reflex - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - link

    Very smart strategy by Ireland. Some of the best engineers and doctors in the world come from the Middle East. With Syria devestating itself into the stone age, smart countries like Ireland and Portugal are inviting them in to reinvigorate their own economies.
  • Spunjji - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - link

    Oh no, you punctured the racism with logic! I was looking forwards to an explanation as to why Islamic extremists would specifically target a nation that's bringing in middle-Eastern migrants as opposed to, say, any of the numerous nations that pose an existential threat to them.
  • Vitor - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - link

    Not really. From all middle-eastern countries (excluding Israel), I would say that Iran is the only one with strong STEM tradition. I've never heard anyone considering saudi or lebanese engineering anything especial. Well, I remember a guy from Iraq being quite famous for his use of chemistry. =P

    You may say Pakistan too, but in this case it would be a matter of having a very big population. The average pak is an inbred of first cousins marriage, and that's a fact you can google, I wish it was some racist stereotype. India has a very strong STEM tradition, but that's already out of the ME.
  • Reflex - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - link

    I'm not sure where you work but I work in one of the big five tech companies, and used to work in another. Some of our absolute best engineers are from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon with a significant Palestinian contingent as well. Smart companies are aggressive recruiting there, the lack of career opportunities is an advantage for corporations and governments looking to grow their economies.

    If your company or country is not looking at this highly educated and skilled population please keep it up, it keeps our hiring pipeline full.
  • Samus - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - link

    Syria, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have very well educated people...unfortunately women are often steered away from higher education.
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, February 18, 2019 - link

    They're not particularly with it when it comes to gay people, either.
  • Samus - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - link

    Historically, countries eventually net-benefit from refugee migration. Has been well documented for centuries.
  • Reflex - Friday, February 15, 2019 - link

    Yuuuup....much of the US tech and biotech industries were built on refugees from Europe and Asia post WW2. I always find the comments about Intel's fab locations interesting, its like nobody knows how and by who Intel was founded.
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, February 18, 2019 - link

    A large reason why "Mama Merkel" opened her heart is because cheap labor also makes rich people richer. Is it an accident that the Democratic party has more rich people in Congress, while simultaneously claiming to be the party of the exploited worker? There's a reason why NBC, the DNC's biggest mouthpiece, is going after Warren for her native American careerism, a very minor offense in the current world of American politics — particularly when compared the benefits from with her pushback against financial corruption. The DNC wants a nice Wall Street bankster and people like Sanders and Warren to be carrots on sticks. That's not to say the GOP is any better. It obviously isn't. It simply has a somewhat different bag of tricks.

    There is always more "empty land" to "settle" and more "development" to be had. Meanwhile, humanity is racing itself toward extinction. Rah rah rah. Profits profits profits. Scientists project that all insect life will be wiped out by the end of this century. I hope everyone feels patriotic when a woman screeches about bombs bursting in air as we stand with our flag planted atop an endless landfill. Get your stock options and 401K plans today!
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, February 18, 2019 - link

    Presently, there is the problem of overpopulation coupled with excessive per capita consumption. Both are growing.

    Ecological resources, however, are not.

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