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Intel CEO Confirms Arizona Factory In Trump’s Office

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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Chip giant CEO uses Oval Office visit to confirm plans to open previously shelved Arizona factory

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stood beside Donald Trump at the Resolute desk in the Oval Office to announce a hefty investment in order to open a factory in Arizona.

The Intel chief executive said the factory is expected to create 3,000 long-term jobs in Arizona, and will build chips for data centres and smart devices.

It is worth noting that Intel had previously taken the decision in early 2014 to mothball the factory as a result of the PC slump. That decision came despite the fact that Intel had already invested a whopping $5.2 billion (£4.1bn) to build the factory, alongside a number of other chip fabs at its Chandler, Arizona site.

brian-krzanich_1New Fab

Intel already has two factories in Arizonia, but it began constructing the Fab 42 factory in 2011, and it was supposed to open in 2013.

But in early 2014 Intel decided to mothball the nearly completed factory as demand for smartphone and tablet chips negated demand for PC chips.

But now Krzanich has pledged to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42, which it claimed would be “the most advanced semiconductor factory in the world”.

A video of Krzanich in the Oval Office making the announcement can be found here.

Fab 42 in Chandler will use the seven nanometer (nm) manufacturing process, said Intel. It will produce microprocessors to power data centres and smart and connected devices worldwide, and it will take three to four years to get up and running.

Intel said that once the factory is completed, it will directly create approximately 3,000 high-tech, high-wage Intel jobs for process engineers, equipment technicians, and facilities-support engineers and technicians.

But when the factory is coupled with the impact on local businesses that will support the factory’s operations, Fab 42 is expected to create more than 10,000 total long-term jobs in Arizona.

“Intel’s business continues to grow and investment in manufacturing capacity and R&D ensures that the pace of Moore’s law continues to march on, fueling technology innovations the world loves and depends on,” said Krzanich in an email to Intel staff. “This factory will help the US maintain its position as the global leader in the semiconductor industry.”

“Our factories support jobs — high-wage, high-tech manufacturing jobs that are the economic engines of the states where they are located,” he said.

Intel already employs more than 50,000 people in the United States, and is said to directly support almost half a million other US jobs across a range of industries, including semiconductor tooling, software, logistics, channels, OEMs and other manufacturers.

Trump Policies

Krzanich’s decision to ask President Trump to use the Oval Office to announce the completion of the factory is an interesting one.

Intel is one of the 100 companies that banded together to file a legal challenge opposing Trump’s temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim nations.

Krzanich’s support for the legal challenge was apparently not raised during the meeting with President Trump.

However Intel is known to support Trump’s tax and regulatory policies, as the new President wants to lessen the tax burden and ease regulations.

One of the core promises of Trump election was his pledge to encourage American companies to keep or create jobs in the United States rather than sending them abroad.

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