Standing in the Oval Office, beside its latest occupant, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that his company will invest $7bn into a new semiconductor chip factory in Chandler, Arizona. The pledge, which was made on February 8, will see construction of Fab 42 resume, six years after it first began.
Despite being delayed indefinitely by former CEO Paul Otellini, Krzanich has reignited the Fab 42 project, promising that “this factory will produce the most powerful computer chips on the planet”. The factory will use the highly advanced seven nanometre manufacturing process to produce microprocessors that “can power data centres and hundreds of millions of smart and connected devices worldwide”, according to a press release on the company’s website.
Fab 42 is expected to create over 10,000 permanent jobs in the Arizona area in support of the factory, around 3,000 of which will be “high tech, high paid jobs”, employed by Intel directly.
Fab 42 is expected to create over 10,000 permanent jobs in the Arizona area in support of the factory
Krzanich praised Trump during the press release, and thanked him for the opportunity. “It’s really in support of the tax and regulatory policies that we see the President pushing forward that make it advantageous to do manufacturing in the US”, he said. Trump, in turn, predictably celebrated the news with a tweet using his favourite #AmericaFirst tag.
The announcement has left some questioning Krzanich’s move, not because of the investment itself, but due to Trump’s suggested involvement in the plans, despite having little to do with them in official terms. Speculation was fuelled due to Krzanich’s decision to announce the news in the Oval Office beside Trump in a clear PR photo-op, as opposed to the more typical press conference in Silicon Valley.
During the press conference, long-standing Trump supporter Krzanich spoke of Intel’s leading role in US manufacturing, a recurrent theme that defined the President’s campaign trail. “We’re consistently one of the top five exporters in the country and one of the top two R&D spenders in the US – and we’ve been able to do that, even while the regulatory and tax policies have disadvantaged us in the past relative to the competition we have across the globe.”
His personal politics aside, Krzanich has played his hand well as far as Intel is concerned, supporting the ultimately victorious candidate and earning a favourable tax and regulatory environment in return.