Intel had been planning on using a factory in Chengdu, China, to manufacture silicon wafers, but that may no longer be happening due to a lack of support from the U.S. government. According to sources with Bloomberg, the White House has “spurned” the idea due to security concerns. Intel had pitched the plan as a way of relaxing ongoing chip shortages.
Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, has proposed using a factory in Chengdu, China, to manufacture silicon wafers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private. That production could have been online by the end of 2022, helping ease a global supply crunch. But at the same time, it’s been seeking federal assistance to ramp up research and production in the U.S.
Intel says it remains open to “other solutions that will also help us meet high demand for the semiconductors essential to innovation and the economy.”
“Intel and the Biden administration share a goal to address the ongoing industrywide shortage of microchips, and we have explored a number of approaches with the U.S. government,” the company added. “Our focus is on the significant ongoing expansion of our existing semiconductor manufacturing operations and our plans to invest tens of billions of dollars in new wafer fabrication plants in the U.S. and Europe.”
Intel’s only manufacturing site in China is Dalian’s Fab 68. This is a NAND memory manufacturing facility that is being handed over to SK hynix following last year’s $9 billion acquisition.