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Intel reaffirms commitment to expanding global supply chain

CEO Pat Gelsinger says “chips have never been so sexy”

A sign outside INtel's head office

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has reiterated the company’s commitment to building out its global supply chain, stating that customers are seeking greater geographic diversity in its manufacturing. 

“When we think about this period of time, chips have never been so sexy,” he said. “But we've also said, they don't just need more chips. They need a better supply chain.”

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“The world needs a more geographically balanced, resilient supply chain. And if anything that we've learnt over the last couple of years, it’s how critical it is for the world in a geopolitically unstable outlook into the future.”

Speaking at the company’s Intel Vision 2022 conference, he highlighted a series of investments it was making in new fabrication and foundry facilities across Europe and the US, as well as how Intel is working with its upstream partners to accelerate their efficiency.

“Fundamentally, the biggest issue we had on supply chain is we didn't have enough capacity. Plain and simple. So what are we doing? Building more capacity. We're bringing new manufacturing capacity online as rapidly as we possibly can.” 

“We’re ramping the factories up - but then it's also the factory network, and things like substrate suppliers have been a big issue. We've had to invest in them and get them ramped up and through that, then being able to rebuild how we manage our supply chains.”

Like many tech vendors, the chip giant has been acutely affected by the ongoing semiconductor shortages over the past couple of years. While this has been blamed on a number of factors, one of the most commonly cited is the disproportionate role that countries such as Taiwan play in the industry’s global supply chain.

To try and alleviate the impact of this, Intel has been firmly supporting efforts from international governments to bolster domestic silicon manufacturing in various territories. Gelsinger has been putting particular pressure on the US government to pass new legislation which would grant significant tax incentives to companies fabricating chips on US soil.

“We do think it's super, super important for the US House and Senate to finish the CHIPS Act,” he said. “And I'll just repeat it over and over again, every forum that we get: get this freaking thing done, right?”

“It passed the Senate in July of last year; it took the House six months to finish the House version of it. We're now in the conference process… We need this done to accelerate the industry, and the EU is moving forward very rapidly.

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