Intel Shares Key High NA EUV Machine Details & Capital Spending Plans
Chip manufacturer Intel Corporation shared key details about its progress towards introducing new products, setting up new plants and targeting a new market at its investor day held today. Intel is the world's largest chipmaker and is currently revamping its production technologies and capacity to dethrone the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in the contract chip manufacturing sector and regain process technology leadership through using the latest chipmaking machines.
At the event, Intel executives shared details about the company's plans to procure the advanced machines, its capital spending policies to reflect lessons learned from the past and how it plans to shift its business model from designing and manufacturing its own chips to also manufacturing chips for other companies.
Intel Shares Roadmap For High NA EUV Chipmaking Machines Crucial For Leadership In Semiconductor Manufacturing
During a breakout presentation as part of the investor day, Intel's executive vice president and general manager of technology development, Dr. Ann Kelleher, provided an update for the company's process technology roadmap and its plans for the future.
Dr. Kelleher revealed that her company is working on process technologies beyond the Intel 18A node which it expects to introduce in the second half of 2025. She explained that Intel is sticking to its "tick-tock" approach towards technology development, is simplifying process flows and is working with vendors for equipment procurement.
The executive also shared details about Intel's progress with using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for chip fabrication. EUV is a crucial area that is currently being utilized by Intel's rivals to produce their chip products, and Dr. Kelleher outlined that her company has reduced step count and area, alongside improvement throughput and productivity through EUV use.
Crucially, she also claimed that Intel will be the first company in the world to procure advanced EUV machines, dubbed as High-NA (numeric aperture) in the chip sector. These machines allow chipmakers to print crisper circuits on a silicon wafer using a larger lens, and Dr. Kellher's presentation revealed that the new machines will enter high-volume manufacturing (as much as 220 wafers per hour) in 2025.
As part of the investor day, Intel's chief global operations officer Mr. Keyvan Esfarjani shared details about the company's investments in manufacturing. He explained that through a new strategy that Intel dubs as 'Smart Capital', his company will not only balance internal and external (outsourced) chip manufacturing capabilities to leverage customer demand, but it will also build new plants in a manner that ensures that installed chip capacity is not left unused.
This will involve a tiered approach through which Intel will first acquire land and then build the infrastructure before installing the chipmaking machines. This will result in the bulk of investment costs being tied to demand, with Intel being able to tailor machine installment with the number of orders that it receives or perceives.
Intel's president of Intel Foundry Services Dr. Randhir Thakur shared details about the company's new business segment through which it will build chips for customers. He outlined that Intel will use a diverse portfolio of chip technologies to service a wide variety of customers that are spread across government agencies, performance, automotive, telecommunications and others.
Importantly, he shared the company's belief that via its Intel Foundry Services (IFS) business, Intel is playing in a market that was worth $95 billion last year and is expected to be $180 billion by 2030. By 2030, leading edge technologies of the future will account for 70% of this market explained Dr. Thakur, and Intel will target 85% of the $180 billion pie.
Finally, the executive also confirmed that Intel has committed to delivering 30 test chips under the IFS heading for this year. The company will leverage its progress with leading edge chip manufacturing in 2026 to significantly grow its IFS revenues.