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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  • Eric Klien - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - link

    "problem of overpopulation coupled with excessive per capita consumption" Poverty is dropping worldwide every year so there is no overpopulation problem. Likewise theories such as Peak Oil have proven to be false.
  • K_Space - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - link

    thought I'd assume such losses would be covered by insurance?!
  • Ashinjuka - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - link

    So, retail Intel 7nm by 2025, then.
  • Duncan Macdonald - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - link

    Most insurance contracts do not cover for acts of war or terrorism. Ones that do (especially in the Middle East) tend to be EXPENSIVE.
    Add to that the fact that even with insurance - if there was a gaping hole in Intel's CPU production then AMD would have a far rosier financial future. (The cost to Intel of having "No one got fired for buying AMD" would be extreme.)
  • Smell This - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - link

    ANNNNND, yet another 'weakly' Chipzilla press release. Let's go to the scorecard ...

    "billions and billions of dollars!" -- Check!
    "strongly hints installing EUV lithography equipment" --- Check!
    "more quickly respond to demand increases" -- Check!
    "newer, more advanced production tools" -- Check!
    "needs approval from locals before money" -- Check!
    ________________ (insert your own) -- Check!

    Of course, there is the obligatory inclusion of "potential for out-sourcing to third-party foundry services," the ubiquitous "plans are subject to change," and the typical stock, shiny wafer image.

  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - link

    It might be worth noting that Leixlip is in the Republic of Ireland, not northern Ireland that's still in the UK. At first I thought this was referring to northern Ireland and was wondering why Intel would sink $8 Billion dollars into an area that's in doubt over Brexit.
  • quantumsheep - Friday, February 15, 2019 - link

    The future of norn iron being a member of the UK is not in question. What is in question is the good Friday agreement (GFA) which brought an end to The Troubles and the horrendous levels of violence experienced by both sides. This is due to the doubt about the nature of the border between the two nations (NI and EIRE) following Brexit.

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