As competition heats up, Intel touts new $200 million Haifa campus

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger to visit Israel next week; US tech giant plans to employ 1,000 new workers locally this year to build ‘chips of the future’

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Intel Corp.'s 9th Gen Core, sired by its Haifa team, was launched by the US tech giant on April 23, 2019 (Courtesy)
Intel Corp.'s 9th Gen Core, sired by its Haifa team, was launched by the US tech giant on April 23, 2019 (Courtesy)

US tech giant Intel Corp. said Wednesday that newly appointed CEO Pat Gelsinger will be visiting Israel next week to announce the setting up a new $200 million campus in Israel to develop the “chips of the future.” The company also said it intends to recruit some 1,000 new employees locally this year.

The announcement comes as competition among global chipmaker titans is heating up. Multinationals are competing for top talent that will keep them ahead of the game, as the world turns online following the coronavirus pandemic.

Israel is becoming a battleground in which this clash playing out. Google in March appointed Uri Frank, a former Intel Corp. executive, as its new vice president of engineering for server chip design to lead a team in Israel for “doubling down” on designing and building custom chips to boost the performance of its computing systems.

Nvidia, a US chipmaker, said it plans to recruit 600 engineers locally to boost its activities in Israel in the field of artificial intelligence. And Microsoft is reportedly seeking to invest over $1 billion in Israel, including expanding its research and development activities in chips. Facebook is also reportedly seeking to set up an R&D center in Israel focusing on the development of chips.

Intel’s campus will be home to 6,000 hardware and software developers of computer chips of the future, the statement said. The facility will spread over tens of thousands of square meters, and will be built according to a new “hybrid model” in which thousands of workers will be able to work part from home and part from the office, Intel said in a statement.

An illustration of Intel Corp.’s new campus (Courtesy)

Work on the new building will start shortly and is expected to be completed by 2023. It will include individual and collaborative working spaces that will be modular and can be modified as needed; meeting rooms for frontal encounters and video conferences as well as pop-up restaurants and café’s, the statement said.

The campus, set up adjacent to the Haifa beach, will include thousands of square meters of sports areas and green nature areas that will be located around the building, inside and on the roof, the statement added.

The new green, sustainable campus, equipped with “smart” building facilities, will include a visitor center that will be open to the public, an auditorium, advanced labs and smart building technologies, the statement said.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel (YouTube screenshot)

Gelsinger, the CEO, said he will make additional announcements during his visit to Israel.

The firm said it plans to recruit hardware, software and AI engineers, electrical engineers, and computer science professionals, ranging from students to experienced engineers with graduate degrees.

In light of the competition for talent in Israel, as the nation faces an acute shortage of engineers and programmers, Intel intends to set up a national initiative to “increase the volume of skilled and relevant manpower in the fields of science and technology,” the statement said.

Intel is the largest private employer in Israel with 14,000 workers: 7,000 development workers in all of Israel’s development centers, 4,900 production workers and 2,100 employees in Mobileye, Moovit and Habana Labs, which the company acquired. The company currently has three major development centers located in Haifa, Petah Tikva and Jerusalem, and an advanced chip manufacturing plant in Kiryat Gat.

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