With a global investment close to 100,000 million dollars, allocated both to manufacturing capacity and to research and development, the Intel company designs and builds the semiconductors of the future, Santiago Cardona, general director of Intel Mexico, told Efe.
“When the pandemic started, in 2020, it was a moment of ‘shock’ in the world, nobody knew what was going to happen and we quickly began to see that the demand for our products increased exponentially,” Cardona explained on the occasion of fulfilling Intel this Thursday 30 years of presence in Mexico.
Intel currently employs about 2,000 engineers at its development center in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, one of the company’s key design and validation centers in the Americas.
“During the pandemic, Intel Mexico increased its jobs in its design and development center in Guadalajara by 50%, where until before the pandemic it had around 1,300 engineers,” Cardona said.
SILICON VALLEY MEXICAN
He recalled that the arrival of Intel in Guadalajara, a city considered the Mexican Silicon Valley, triggered a great expansion in technology companies in Jalisco and Mexico “many other companies began to arrive and that is the greatest proof of the value of Mexican talent.”
He stressed that few people in the world know that 95% of the internet infrastructure “runs on Intel, that is, literally the world runs on Intel and that caused the demand for our products to explode.”
“Let’s imagine for a moment our life during the pandemic without the internet, what would it have been like?”
He added that this explosion in the demand for technological products caused a shortage of semiconductors, a crisis that impacted several industries, including technology and the automotive industry.
“Intel was there to respond and not only for that moment but for the future because when we have 50,000 million connected devices we are going to need many more millions of semiconductors and for this Intel builds the manufacturing capacity, to supply ourselves and manufacture to third parties”, he pointed.
Cardona insists that semiconductors are part of people’s daily lives in computers, mobile phones, voice assistants, video game consoles, smart televisions and household appliances, as well as, of course, in cars.
Semiconductors are materials that under certain circumstances allow the passage of electric current, while in other conditions they behave as insulators.
The manufacture of semiconductors “is one of the most complex processes that the human being does.” In the manufacturing process of an Intel “chip” it takes 20 weeks.
THE PANDEMIC AS AN OPPORTUNITY
Cardona indicated that one of the great advantages of Intel “is that it is practically the only manufacturer that currently does everything under one roof: we design, manufacture and produce” and thanks to this, now with the pandemic an opportunity has been seen: to manufacture its technology to other companies.
“There are many companies that do not have the capacity to manufacture semiconductors because it is one of the most complex processes that human beings carry out. There are companies that can design their own “chips” but do not necessarily have the capacity to manufacture them and what we do is build that manufacturing capacity to sell to third parties,” he said.
He said that the central idea in this objective is “if you do not have the capacity, use the Intel factories, we are available to manufacture all this quantity of semiconductors that the world will require.”
Cardona explained that with these advances there will be industries that are going to be completely transformed, such as the automotive industry, where semiconductors “are fundamental for a next-generation vehicle.”
Between now and 2030, about 30% of the components that a car will require will be semiconductors, so manufacturers “are not going to make cars, they are going to make computers on wheels.”
“We want to enrich the lives of people around the world with investments because thanks to Intel technologies we are touching each and every person on the planet. It is an ambitious mission but it is part of what we want to do,” he explained.
Cardona recalled that in recent years Intel has invested 20,000 million dollars in Arizona, the same amount in the state of Ohio, in the United States, in addition to another 3,500 million dollars in New Mexico.
In Latin America, 700 million dollars will be invested in the following three years in Costa Rica and more than 80,000 million dollars in Europe “for both manufacturing and research and development.”
“The total is more than 100,000 million dollars of investment to ensure that we will have all the necessary production capacity,” he concluded.