BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) – U.S. chipmaker Intel is seeking 8 billion euros ($9.7 billion) in public subsidies towards building a semiconductor manufacturing site in Europe, Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger was quoted on Friday as saying.
“What we’re asking from both the U.S. and the European governments is to make it competitive for us to do it here compared to in Asia,” Gelsinger told Politico Europe in an interview.
A spokesman for Intel confirmed the interview took place on Friday in Brussels, where Gelsinger was due to meet European Commissioner Thierry Breton for talks on semiconductor strategy.
Gelsinger, on his first European tour since taking over at Intel, announced a new strategy last month under which the U.S. chipmaker will launch a foundry, or contract manufacturing, division.
On top of investing $20 billion in the United States, Gelsinger is prospecting for a location for a plant in Europe that he says would back Breton’s goal of doubling the region’s share of global chip output to 20% over the next decade.
Gelsinger, who met German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier on Thursday, was quoted as saying that Germany would be a suitable location for a potential European foundry.
“Geopolitically, if you’re in Europe, you want to be in continental Europe,” he told Politico.
“We think of Germany as a good candidate — not the only, but a good candidate — for where we might build our fabrication capabilities,” he said, also indicating interest in the Benelux countries.
On the German leg of his visit, Gelsinger also met executives from carmaker BMW and telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom, Intel said.
Sources said he also visited the headquarters of Volkswagen, although an Intel spokesman said he could not confirm that a meeting took place.
Separately, VW CEO Herbert Diess was quoted on Friday as saying that the carmaker planned to design and develop its own high-powered chips for autonomous vehicles. [L8N2MN4YR]
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