Intel plans to build a $7 billion chip packaging facility in Malaysia.

The facility will be formally detailed on 15 December, during US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s first visit to Southeast Asia.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is currently in Malaysia and Taiwan this week to announce the facility, and to meet executives at rival (and Intel supplier) TSMC.

Intel Inside
– Sebastian Moss

Chip packaging plants integrate different types of semiconductors onto wafers, and are a key part of the chip manufacturing process. The facility, planned for the island state of Penang, would join an existing Intel site for memory chip assembly.

The company currently employs around 12,000 people in the country.

“As part of Intel’s recently announced IDM 2.0 strategy and building on its strong foundation laid close to five decades ago, Intel is continuing to invest in and expand its existing facilities in Malaysia,” Intel said in a statement, referencing its plan to improve its chip manufacturing capabilities and enter the third-party foundry business.

The company this year said it would spend $20 billion on fabs in the US, and could spend a similar amount in Europe (but not the UK, because of Brexit). It is thought to have considered expanding in China, but was "strongly discouraged" by the White House.

With an acute global chip shortage, Intel has pushed for substantial government incentives to finance building more chip factories.

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