The microprocessor giant Intel inaugurated a next-generation chip production line at its Kiryat Gat facility in Israel on Monday, the business website Globes reported.
The upgrade to the machinery came at a cost of $6 billion, including a $300 million grant from the Israeli government.
“The vision of the future is realized here,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told employees and management while touring the plant. “You are producing a new future. Using technology, you amplify Israel’s power. Israel is a global technological superpower. The national revolution is to do away with the periphery called Kiryat Gat, Beersheva, Afula, and Yokneam. There is no south or north, we are doing way with the periphery.”
Amir Faintuch, Intel senior vice president and representative of its global management, explained that Intel’s Israel facilities play a critical role in helping the chip manufacturer address the changing nature of computing. “At present, Intel is turning from a company specializing only in developing and producing chips to a company whose developments drive cloud-based computer centers and billions of smart, connected, devices,” he told Netanyahu. Faintuch pointed out that Intel’s first development center outside of the United States was established in Haifa, and that some of Intel’s most advanced chips were designed in Israel.
Intel VP and Intel Israel CEO Maxine Fassberg added that the company has already invested over $17 billion in Israel’s economy and is expected to spend nearly $5 billion more on Israeli goods and services in the next decade. “Intel Israel is proud and excited to host the prime minister. In its 42 years, Intel has turned into an inseparable part of Israel’s market, Israel’s economy and Israel’s society. Tens of thousands of Intel employees are a mirror of Israel’s population: from all sectors and professions and all contributing to our shared success. Together, we have been developing southern Israel, promoting Israeli exports and leading the world of technology,” she said.
Intel’s Israel production plant CEO Daniel Benatar also praised Intel for integrating all elements of Israeli society in its workforce. “Intel is building here one of the world’s most advanced plants, using thousands of hard working employees, from engineers, electrical engineering and chemistry doctors to welders, pipe fitters and construction workers, Israelis from across the spectrum of Israeli society – Jews, Arabs, Druze and Bedouins, religious, ultra-orthodox, young 25-year-olds and veteran employees over 60; this is a source of pride for Israel.”
In late August, Intel’s Haifa development center announced that it had developed the company’s “fastest ever” chip, which could perform routine tasks up to 70 percent faster than one produced four or five years ago. Intel announced in September that it had teamed up with Israel-based Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world’s largest generic drug manufacturer, to develop technology to track the progress of Huntington’s disease.
Intel’s main development center in Israel, which was established in 1974 as the company’s first design and development hub outside of the United States, has been credited with some of the microprocessor giant’s most advanced products. Before Skylake, the center produced both the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, which power many computers currently in use. Intel has produced and exported over one billion processors from Israel, including the 8088, which was the first processor developed for personal computers, and the Pentium MMX, which was the most popular processor in the 20th century.
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