Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger will host a webcast this could reveal a major shift in its chipmaking business. Amid the ongoing chip shortage, this announcement could allow the tech community to breathe a sigh of relief if Intel does indeed announce something big. The webcast is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. PT tomorrow, January 21.
Intel’s press room page for the event notes that Gelsinger, along with Intel supply chain boss Keyvan Esfarjani, “will share details of Intel’s latest investment plans. in manufacturing leadership”. The webcast will also allow Intel to talk about how it is meeting growing demand for semiconductors and tightening its global supply chain. Tom’s gear reports that an Oregon reporter believes investing in manufacturing means a new semiconductor plant in Columbus, Ohio.
Intel’s investment is also part of its Integrated Device Manufacturing (IDM 2.0) strategy. This strategy, announced last March, is Intel’s plan to expand its own chip manufacturing capacity, as well as become a foundry for other customers. Part of this announcement includes an investment of approximately $20 billion to build two new manufacturing plants in Arizona. Another factory announcement in Ohio would be consistent with the IDM 2.0 strategy.
Given the current tight semiconductor market, any announcement of production expansion is great news. Although it will take some time for fabs to be built and started, it should do a lot to stabilize the market if a global emergency, such as the ongoing pandemic, devastates the supply chain.
Intel is unlikely to reveal any new information about future chip designs. However, the company will no doubt use the extra manufacturing space to bolster production of upcoming chips such as Meteor Lake and its own Arc Alchemist GPUs. This also ties into the company’s announcement last year about simplifying its process naming schemes as it moves beyond nanometers.
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