Intel to upgrade chip-test plant in China

Another crack at the mobile market

Intel headquarters, Santa Clara

Chipzilla has decided to take another run at the mobile chip market, announcing plans to spin as much as US$1.6 billion in the direction of its Chengdu plant in China to achieve its aims.

The money will go towards upgrade a decade-old facility to try to assert its 900-pound-gorilla status in the mobile silicon business, for too long a gap in Intel's strategy.

Details of Intel's intent are fairly sketchy, but the company told China Daily the 2,500-plus employee assembly test site is an important deployment particularly for its “mobility business in the tablet, smartphone, Internet of Things and wearable segments”.

Reuters says the investment will be put towards Intel's latest chip-testing technology, and is a follow-on from an earlier investment in which the company bought a minority stake in the combined Spreadtrum / RDA Microelectronics, now called Tsinghua Unigroup, for US$1.5 billion.

The investment will endear Intel to the Chinese government, which expects the tech sector to swap inbound investment for access to its markets. Intel also has a mult-billion investment in a manufacturing plant in Dailan. ®

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