Yesterday India's transport minister is said to have announced Intel would be building a chipmaking fab in the country. Big news, right? Um, no. Actually, Intel isn't doing anything of the sort.
According to a statement from Intel received by Reuters (opens in new tab), the company says it has no current plans to build a manufacturing facility in the country.
This comes at a time when Intel is investing large sums of money into the chipmaking side of its business. Some of that money is coming from the recently passed CHIPS and Science Act, a US initiative to beef up domestic semiconductor manufacturing facilities, and that means it will be invested into US-based facilities and fabs. It also means that Intel is banned from investing that money (opens in new tab) in places that the US government doesn't see fit to receive it, namely China.
Though Intel does have other cash to spend on chipmaking, and it has other fabs and assembly facilities outside of the US, including in Ireland, Israel, Costa Rica, and Malaysia.
Intel is also building a major chipmaking fab in Germany, which will be joined by other new or improved facilities in the EU.
Yet nothing in India and apparently no plans to build there yet. That's despite India's best efforts to lure semiconductor companies to that region of the world. India's government recently announced a $10B plan to attract semiconductor and display manufacturers (opens in new tab) to the country, essentially aiming to cut down costs for any would-be investor.
According to journalist Debby Qu, however, Intel may end up expanding in some capacity in India, in a roundabout way. I know, that's exactly the opposite of what the company has said, but reportedly a consortium made up of multiple companies including Tower Semiconductor—a company recently acquired by Intel—agreed to invest $3B in a chip fabrication plant in the Indian state of Karnataka. Though the future of that investment may be up in the air for now.
In May though, a consortium including Tower Semiconductor said it will invest 229 billion rupees ($3 billion) in a chip fabrication plant in the southwest Indian state of Karnataka. A bit unclear what will happen to that.September 8, 2022
Though there's one thing that's very clear: governments are desperate to lure chipmakers to their shores, and when it comes down to it, that ultimately means a battle of who can woo a chipmaker more (throw more cash and subsidies at them).