Intel and two Israeli ministries this week announced that the chip giant plans to invest $5 billion in its Kiryat Gat fab complex – Fab 28 – through 2020. Under the plan, Intel is expected to buy various products from local suppliers and hire additional personnel. In return, Israel will provide the processor maker a tax rebate and a government grant. Furthermore, Intel will receive another grant if it upgrades its manufacturing in Israel further.

Under the terms of the investment plan, Intel will invest $5 billion (NIS 18 billion) in its Kiryat Gat ventures until 2020. The chip giant is expected to buy $838 million (NIS 3 billion) worth of local goods and add 250 people to its workforce, reports The Times of Israel citing the Finance Ministry. If the plan is approved by the Israeli authorities, Intel will get a 5% tax rebate till 2027, as well as a $195.5 million (NIS 700 million) government grant. Additionally, if Intel decides to “significantly upgrade” its fab “technologically”, the company will get another $195.5 million grant.

Haaretz newspaper reports that the new $5 billion investment plan focuses on production expansion, but not on manufacturing technology upgrades. This is not be the first announced expansion of Fab 28 in the recent years. Intel took over Micron’s 200-mm fab in Kiryat Gat in 2013 (after transferring its Fab 18 to Numonyx in 2008 and then selling its stake in the company to Micron in 2010), then disclosed plans to convert it to 300 mm wafers and make it a part of the Fab 28 complex. It is unknown whether all the conversions/upgrades have been completed.

Back in 2014, Intel and Israel's ministries of economy and finance agreed to a plan under which Intel would invest $6 billion in Fab 28 in a bid to prepare it to produce CPUs using its 10 nm process technology. Since the latter has been delayed to the 2018 – 2019 timeframe, it is likely that the new production lines that went online in late 2016 are using Intel's 14nm process, though Intel has not officially confirmed this. Meanwhile, it is unclear where Intel's progress stands on installing the latest DUV equipment needed to produce 10 nm CPUs at the fab, which is a prerequisite to upgrading to future process nodes.

On a final note, after reaching out to Intel to get more details on their current and future investment plans for Fab 28, we did eventually receive the following statement from Intel:

“Intel has submitted a business plan to the Israeli Government for a project to expand its manufacturing facilities at Kiryat Gat. The project is being undertaken to meet future manufacturing needs. [...] It is a usual part of the investment and upgrade cycle. [...] I can also confirm that in 2014 Intel started a project to upgrade the fab.”

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Sources: The Times of Israel, Haaretz

Image Source: CalcalisTech

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  • Samus - Monday, May 21, 2018 - link

    Even though everything spells war, keep in mind Israel has been at war since their existence, and has done well economically ever since.

    And in the event of an all out war, there is no doubt Israel would win. They have superior military technology and intelligence to most of the world, especially those in the middle east who would attempt to attack them. Their missile defense system is actually better than OURS (United States) which is funny when you consider it was jointly developed.

    Israel is possibly the safest place to develop in that region of the world, and is logistically strategic for businesses, as well as having a skilled workforce. The problem is...its expensive to develop there. Cost of living is high and wages are VERY high. Those 250 jobs are mostly going to be high six-figure positions.
    Reply
  • Findecanor - Saturday, May 19, 2018 - link

    *Sigh*. This means that I will not buy Intel ever again.

    Windows and Linux are both on AArch64, so in the near future I wouldn't have to anyway.
    Reply
  • Sttm - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    Unless your Intel CPU is pre Core, you already have an Israeli designed chip. Better dump it fast before the other anti-semites find out! Reply
  • Findecanor - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    Boycotting Israel on humanitarian grounds is not being an anti-Semite. Ad hominem attacks are very low, very low. Reply
  • Cyanara - Monday, May 21, 2018 - link

    As mentioned in the other comments though, Intel's involvement in Israel is far from new. Reply
  • yelped - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    You may want to have a clearer understanding of the subject before speaking up. Here's a short synopsis: http://s22592.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/B... Reply
  • willis936 - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - link

    Here is a better read if you aren't interested in maintaining bias.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Isr...
    Reply
  • amosbatto - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    At this point, I am so outraged by Israel's policies toward the Palestinians that I am seriously considering boycotting Intel. Yes, I know that it is just 1 of the 12 fabs operated by Intel, but it bothers me that Intel would decide to invest so heavily in an apartheid state. Intel was also unethical in strong-arming PC makers to not use AMD chips. The problem I have is that it is still very hard to find a decent enterprise-grade laptop with AMD inside. I prefer Thinkpads and Latitudes, but they only come with Intel Core CPUs. Reply
  • Kevin G - Saturday, May 19, 2018 - link

    Considering that this fab came from Micron, I would presume that this would be producing 3D Point memory as well. Reply
  • ilt24 - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - link

    No, that fab Intel reacquired from Micron was and old 200mm fab, their 3D Xpoint memory is made in 300mm fabs. That fab had been making NOR memory when it was acquired by Micron and they decided to close the fab vs. retool it. Reply

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