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Intel reportedly backtracks on plans to expand Israel R&D presence

Several of Intel's most recent CPU microarchitectures were developed by its Israel-based team (Image source: Intel)
Several of Intel's most recent CPU microarchitectures were developed by its Israel-based team (Image source: Intel)
Intel made several announcements in 2022, 2023 and 2024 detailing plans to build new research/manufacturing facilities (or expand existing ones) in Costa Rica, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Poland and of course the US. Now, it appears Israel just got crossed out which is supposedly not related in any way to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Intel prefers to make its chips using equipment it owns and fully controls, unlike AMD, Apple, Mediatek, Nvidia and most other high-volume chipmakers. To be able to do so, Team Blue operates several research and manufacturing facilities in the United States as well as Malaysia (we've been there in person), Israel, Costa-Rica and several other countries, with plans to build new fabs in countries such as Germany.

Several of Intel's recent microarchitectures including Ice Lake were developed in Israel, and the Middle Eastern country was set to receive a new Intel manufacturing facility that would become operational in 2028. Now, Israeli newspapers report that the construction of said facility (located in Kiryat Gat) was halted with no clear indication on when it would be resumed.

Kiryat Gat is found less than 30 kilometers away from the Gaza strip. Peace talks between the government of Israel and the Hamas military group have been stalling for months and with no end to the armed conflict in sight, Intel may have decided to cut its losses by pulling the plug on this project that's years away from being completed anyway; that being said, some of the sources claim that the stopping of the fab's construction had nothing to do with the Gaza conflict, citing Intel's financial troubles resulting from its failure to counter the rise of AMD, Apple and Nvidia instead.

It has to be noted that the rumor has not been confirmed or disproved by ministers (including the prime minister) of Israel. Intel's X account as well as Intel Newsroom do not mention the topic in any way, either.

Intel's presence in Israel dates back to 1974. Those distrusting Intel's hybrid CPU architectures can get the Core i7-10850K CPU (LGA1200 socket; 10 performance cores and no efficient cores whatsoever) on for $279.

Source(s) (in Russian), Reuters

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 06 > Intel stops building its Israel fabs due to the current geopolitical circumstances
Sergey Tarasov, 2024-06-11 (Update: 2024-06-17)