©Reuters. Barcelona will host a pioneering Intel microchip design laboratory
Barcelona, May 25 (.).- Barcelona will have a pioneering microchip design laboratory from the technological multinational Intel (NASDAQ:), which will invest 200 million euros, to which the Government will add another 200, to place Spain in the vanguard in the development of these elements, key to the global economy.
The Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) will house the RISC-V processor laboratory, following the agreement reached with Intel within the framework of the Perte de los microchips, from which the public funds for the project will come.
To launch the project, the US firm and the Government will contribute 20 million euros per year over the next ten years.
The laboratory, which will be located on the Campus Nord of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), will start up imminently with the initial hiring of between 250 and 300 workers.
Intel’s decision places Spain at the forefront of a key sector for the economy and in which competition is very strong, as explained to EFE by the director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Mateo Valero, who urges to start hire and get it up and running “as soon as possible”.
Valero has assured that the agreement with the multinational has been forged little by little, thanks to the collaboration that they have maintained for a long time, and has highlighted that “it ended cooking” yesterday in Davos (Switzerland) between the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger.
Sánchez himself thanked yesterday in a tweet from Davos (Switzerland) that Intel has chosen Barcelona to locate this infrastructure: “Thank you Pat Gelsinger [consejero delegado de Intel] for choosing Spain for the pioneering laboratory of RISC-V processors”.
The director of the BSC-CNS has valued that the European economic recovery funds will serve to attract the same amount in private investment.
“We have joined forces with the best chip design company in the world to create high-level jobs in Spain, who will spend their money here and pay their taxes here as well. And all in a pioneering theme worldwide. It is an adventure that life is worth living”, he added.
The project represents a commitment to zetascale computing, a much more powerful technology than the current one, after years of collaboration between the Catalan supercomputing center in exascale architecture.
From now on, the director of the Supercomputing Center hopes that the highly qualified personnel required for the laboratory to start up as soon as possible can begin to be hired “as soon as possible”.
Valero has been optimistic, despite the difficulties that exist in attracting talent, and has assured that, if things go well, this initial hiring of 250-300 employees “can grow infinitely”.
“We start from a good critical mass to do things in a market that is very difficult – that of high-speed chips – because the competition is enormous and in which Europe does not produce anything. That is the context”, he pointed out.
The director of the BSC-CNS has also been convinced that the existence of a laboratory in Barcelona to design these microprocessors will help attract investment for “one or two” factories of these elements thanks to “the contacts and collaborations” that it will facilitate.
Precisely, the installation in Spain of manufacturing plants with a capacity of both less than and greater than five nanometers is one of the main objectives of the Perte approved yesterday by the Council of Ministers.
The manufacture of microchips is crucial in the future of the automotive and electronics industry, especially in the current context of a supply crisis.
This Perte is the most ambitious of those approved to date by the Government both for its amount (12,250 million euros) and for its potential transformative impact and its contribution to the technological autonomy of Spain and the European Union.
The president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, has welcomed on his Twitter account (NYSE:) an announcement that he sees as “a step forward that reinforces the Government’s commitment to leading strategic projects such as the manufacture of the European chip”, and has underlined that it has been shown that “Catalonia has great potential to attract talent”.
For his part, the Minister of Business and Work, Roger Torrent, has also expressed his satisfaction with Intel’s investment from the Parliament and has assured that “it is aligned with our strategic projects of the funds Next (LON:) Generation to work for the design and prototyping of the European chip, and position ourselves throughout the value chain”.
Regarding the possibility of manufacturing microchips, he pointed out that “we have to be sufficiently skilled from the Government and all the parties to position ourselves for it as well”, convinced that in Catalonia “we have the bases and the opportunities”.
For his part, the first deputy mayor of Barcelona City Council, Jaume Collboni, stressed that Intel’s investment “consolidates” the city as “one of the world’s digital capitals” and “reaffirms the transformation towards an economy based on knowledge”.
Intel is one of the few companies in the world that manufacture state-of-the-art chips, in addition to the South Korean Samsung (KS:) -the first in revenue- or the Taiwanese TSMC.