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Italy plans to invest nearly €10B in chips, report

Adolfo Urso
Picture credits: Minister of Industry of Italy

The Italian government is planning to invest around €10 billion in the semiconductor industry throughout the year, informed Industry Minister Adolfo Urso, as per news agency Ansa.

In March, Urso announced an investment of €3.2 billion by the Singaporean startup Silicon Box, to build a chip factory in the north of the country. The announcement came after the government failed to persuade US-based chip-maker giant Intel Corp. to invest. 

“I believe that in the coming weeks we will be in a position to make other equally significant announcements,” he also said, according to local media. “Italy is preparing to become one of the largest microelectronics producers in Europe,” Urso told reporters in Pescara, where the ruling party Fratelli d’Italia is meeting this weekend. 

Investment from Intel on hold

Last year, the Italian government was determined to secure an investment by Intel. Initially, Intel announced it aimed to build an advanced packaging and assembly chip factory in Italy as part of a wider long-term investment plan to expand capacity across Europe. However, earlier this year, Intel was said to postpone its plans to invest in the country. 

The US technology company has “given up or postponed its investments in France and Italy, compared with others that it plans in Germany,” Minister Adolfo Urso told reporters in the northern Italian city of Verona. The minister added that Italy will soon see more foreign investment in its semiconductor sector. 

Silicon Box’s investment 

Silicon Box plans to build a new plant in northern Italy under a government-backed deal. The exact site for the plant has yet to be decided with several locations available and Rome will also need the European Commission’s approval for planned financial aid. 

The project is part of long-standing Italian efforts to attract investment from technology companies. As per the minister, the investment will be able to generate 1,600 new direct jobs, in addition to the indirect jobs generated both for the construction of the facility and in the wider supply and logistics ecosystem involved when fully operational. 

Silicon Box, a three-year-old startup, created by the founders of US chipmaker Marvell (MRVL.O),  will produce the so-called “chiplets”, which can be the size of a grain of sand. These are brought together in a process called advanced packaging, a cost-efficient way to bind small semiconductors to form one processor that can power everything from data centres to household appliances.

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