According to a BBC News report, Pat Gelsinger, CEO at Intel, has decided not to consider the United Kingdom for an upcoming factory. The CEO put the reason for the decision very bluntly, saying that Brexit was the primary issue. He said that the UK would have been considered before Brexit but now they’re just focusing on EU countries. Gelsinger is not saying the factory would definitely have been built in the UK even if it had remained a part of the bloc.
Intel is looking to invest $95 billion over the next ten years to build semiconductor plants in the European Union and expand its operations in the United States. The company said that the semiconductor industry is far too reliant on Asia and as a result, the world is facing a chip shortage. Intel’s plans for expansion should be seen as a medium-term goal because it will not have the factories in Europe ready before this current crisis ends, with experts saying normalcy will return in 2022 and 2023.
Gelsinger said that he has no idea whether a UK site would be superior to anywhere else in Europe, but now, the firm is not considering the country at all. He said Intel has received 70 proposals from 10 countries around the bloc. He hopes a site will be chosen by the end of the year and he said he’s hopeful of getting support from the European Union too.
Intel’s expansion into Europe should make the semiconductor industry more resilient against shocks such as the coronavirus. As things stand, the United States produces 12% of the world's semiconductors while Korea’s Samsung and Taiwan’s TSMC produce 70% of the world’s supply. With everything becoming smart, semiconductors are proving to be an essential item and production needs to be less centralised to one section of the world.