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February 18, 2013 1:04 pm

Intel Doubles Israel Exports, Hopes Israelis Will Manufacture Next Generation of Chips

avatar by Zach Pontz

Intel Flash Miniature Card. Photo: wiki commons.

The world’s top computer chipmaker doubled its exports from Israel in 2012 and is now hoping to bring manufacturing of the company’s next generation of chips to Israel.

Intel announced Sunday at an annual press conference that its exports from Israel  rose to $4.6 billion last year. The total amount invested in the country in the last decade is $10.5 billion.

Intel Israel president Mooly Eden said the company accounted for 20 percent of Israel’s high-tech exports last year and 10 percent of its industrial exports, excluding diamonds. Intel Israel was responsible for a third of Israel’s exports to China. “Were it not for Intel’s improved performance last year, Israel’s high-tech exports would have fallen by 10 percent,” he said at the company’s annual press conference.

Intel’s Israel executives said they want to see production of advanced 10-nanometer chips in Israel in the coming years, but that the Fab 28 plant in Kiryat Gat would need a several billion dollar upgrade.

“The average life of a technology is two to six years so we need to be busy to get the next technology, 10 nanometer,” Maxine Fassberg, general manager of Intel Israel, told the press conference. “We need to get a decision far enough in advance to be able to upgrade the plant. So for 10 nanometer, decisions will need to be made this year.” Fassberg said the company has received $1.3 billion in government grants in the past.

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