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Israel Science & Technology: Intel & Israel

Intel Israel Logo

The growth of Intel Israel is closely interwoven with the evolution of the State of Israel. Founded in Haifa in 1974 with five employees, today Intel is the largest employer of Israel’s high-tech industry with nearly 14,000 workers in addition to indirectly impacting the employment of roughly 25,000 workers in Israel. These large numbers bring with them great responsibility to maintain business leadership, economic stability, and employment fairness.

As pioneers of the high-tech industry in Israel, Intel works hard on many levels to satisfy the passion for technology and to develop the next generation of engineers in Israel. In 2011, Intel exported goods worth $2.2 billion and made $628 million of reciprocal procurements from Israeli suppliers. Over the past five years, Intel contributed more than $4.1 billion to the development of Israel’s economy as part of the company’s Industrial Development Plan. In 2013, Intel’s Israeli operations racked up exports totaling $3.8 billion.

Developing the Fastest Processors

As the world leader in its field, Intel Israel’s development centers focus on Intel Corporation’s global growth areas of processors, platforms, software and services and can boast of many of Intel’s technological breakthroughs. In 2011, Intel witnessed the unprecedented success of the Sandy Bridge processor. Developed in Haifa and Yakum, it quickly became the fastest selling product in Intel’s history. At the same time, Intel developed the Ivy Bridge processor, the world’s first processor with 22nm technology. Intel also led the development of Cloverview, Intel’s processor for tablets and smartphones. Moreover, Intel reached mass production of the Cedarview processors for the next generation of netbooks.

In January 2005, Intel Israel unveiled an upgraded version of the Centrino chipset that was conceived at the Haifa development center and features new graphics and audio capabilities, faster processing, and greater security features.

Intel invests great amounts of resources in keeping our manufacturing facilities at the forefront of technology and in remaining a preferred manufacturing site for Intel Corporation. In 2011, Fab28 completed its upgrade and reached full production capacity, making microprocessors in 22nm technology to support the Ivy Bridge processor.

Computational Intelligence Institute

As a leader in high-tech innovation, Intel believes that technological and scientific education is essential to keeping Israel economically sound. As a result, Intel directs its involvement and contributions accordingly. In 2011, Intel announced the founding of the Computational Intelligence Institute in Israel to research the future interaction between humans and technology. The institute will focus on machine learning, brain-inspired computation, and advanced computer architecture in the hope these breakthrough technologies will enable engaging future applications. At the beginning of 2012, Intel signed a memorandum with the Ministry of Education in which the company agreed to help with the Ministry’s flagship strategic programs to advance science and technology education.

In 2011, Intel received “The Environmental Protection Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence”. Presented at an event attended by the President of Israel, the award recognized the tremendous efforts Intel has made in environmental projects. Examples include a system for processing silicon particles that Intel developed for our Jerusalem Die Prep facility and that has become standard throughout Intel Corporation; a photovoltaic solar system, which generates renewable energy, that Intel implemented in Jerusalem; and a wastewater treatment facility in Kiryat Gat that is comprised of 19 distinct systems and allows us to recover 40% of wastewater.

In May 2012, Intel announced the establishment of the Collaborative Research Institute for Computational Intelligence in Israel, focusing on applying machine learning, brain-inspired computation, and advanced computer architecture to software. “Within five years all of the human senses will be in computers, and in 10 years, we will have more transistors in one chip than neurons in the human brain,” Mooly Eden, president of Intel Israel, told Tel Aviv Tech. “The expectations from the Institute for Computational Intelligence are that it will provide a leap forward in research and in ideas that will be translated into products and applications.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini visited Israel in November 2012 and announced a new $5 million program aimed at doubling the number of Israeli students with a scientific and technological matriculation certificate. Working in cooperation with the Education Ministry, the program will be launched in 25 schools in southern Israel.

Intel’s Core-M processors, unveiled in the second half of 2015, were developed in Israel. The processors were developed in Petah Tikva and will include WiGiG technology that will allow wireless and seamless access between all of your technological devices.

An Israeli-developed online avatar platform called Fitterli won the Intel Business Challenge Europe 2014 first prize in September and continued on to compete in the World Business Challenge finals in California later in 2014. Fitterli is an application that allows users to create a virtual version of themselves, or an “avatar,” through a body scan and then use that avatar on clothing websites and other retailers to see how things fit or look on them. This hopes to fix the problem of ordering something online and having to return it because you do not like the look or fit of the product. Intel spokesperson Guy Grimland stated that “The 3D technology offered by Fitterli is the kind of innovation Intel has come to expect from Israel, which has developed technology that has enabled the company to strike out on new and exciting paths.”

Acquisitions of Israeli Startups

Intel acquired Israeli sports imaging startup Replay Technologies in early 2016 for a reported $175 million. The two companies have been working together since 2013, and the acquisition was referred to as a “natural next step” by Intel Senior VP Wendell Brooks. Replay Technologies specializes in immersive, multi-dimensional video imaging technologies, allowing the user/viewer to see and experience scenes through wholly comprehensive camera views shot from multiple angles. Technology developed by Replay Technologies has been used in Super Bowl 50 and the 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend.

Intel purchased Israeli driverless car technology firm Mobileye for $15 billion in March 2017. This was not only the largest-ever purchase of an Israeli high-tech company but also the largest-ever purchase of a company solely focused on the self-driving sector. Mobileye is best known in the industry for being a leader in collision avoidance and mapping technologies.

Managing director of the Intel Ingenuity Partner Program, Roy Ramon, stated about Israel that “this is one culture that you can’t get anywhere in the world.”

In February 2018, Intel executives announced plans to invest $5 billion to expand its chip manufacturing facility in Kiryat Gat. This comes in addition to a $6 billion expansion of the same facility announced in 2014.

Intel announced new 8th-generation processors in August 2018 that promised up to twelve times faster connectivity speeds and twice the performance of a processor manufactured five years prior. These new processors were developed and designed at Intel’s campus in Haifa, Israel. An official statement from Intel claims that these new processors will offer significant gains for users in office productivity, gaming, and content creation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Intel Israel executives
in Jerusalem on January 30, 2019. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

Intel Israel today has a number of locations. This dispersion has been a result of Intel wishing to be at the power centers of Israel’s “silicon wadi” for development purposes and to be in the regional areas that have been dedicated as National Priority Zones by the Israeli government for production. This has had a great socio-economic impact in these outlying areas. The locations are as follows: Haifa (multi-disciplinary development center for software and hardware), Kiryat Gat (manufacturing plant), Petach Tikva (development), Yakum (development), and Jerusalem (manufacturing plant).

In 2021, Intel announced plans for a new $200 million facility in Haifa. The company is also investing $400 million in Mobileye. In 2019, Intel bought artificial intelligence chipmaker Habana for $2 billion and, a year later, Moovit for $1 billion. The company also purchased Telmap, which develops navigation and location-based services.

Israel’s Finance Ministry said in May 2021 it would provide Intel with a $10 billion grant to build a new plant to build microchips.

During a visit to Israel to announce the new investments, Intel Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger predicted “a vibrant future for Intel and Israel for decades to come.”

A few months later, Intel released its 12th-generation core processors known as Alder Lake processors. “On top of providing the foremost performance ever designed by Intel, Alder Lake’s Performance Cores also represent the largest performance leap in over a decade,” explained Core CPU chief architect Adi Yoaz, who designed the performance core.

In December 2021, Intel announced it acquired the Israeli startup Screenovate for $100 million after first having invested in the company in 2014. Screenovate develops screen-duplication solutions that allow interaction between multiple devices.

In February 2022, Intel announced it is buying Israeli chipmaker Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 billion.  Tower specializes in analog chips used in cars, medical sensors, and power management.

In April 2022, Haaretz reported that Intel intended to buy Israeli startup Granulate for $650 million.

Intel posted record exports of $8.7 billion in 2022, constituting 5.5% of all Israeli high-tech exports.

In 2023, Intel announced plans to build a new factory in Kiryat Gat worth $25 billion, the largest-ever international investment in the country.

Sources: Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor.
Intel Israel.
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Photo: Logo - Wikimedia.