Intel said its new global foundry service would operate from the United States and Europe, with further factory additions expected to be announced in the next year. It already runs plants in Ireland and Israel.
“The industry needs more geographically balanced manufacturing capacity,” Mr. Gelsinger said.
While it is committing $20 billion up front, Intel hopes to negotiate with the Biden administration and other governments to get incentives for its manufacturing expansion, said Donald Parker, an Intel vice president.
Though it makes most products in house, Intel has long used external foundries for some less advanced chips. Mr. Gelsinger said the company would expand that strategy to include some flagship microprocessors, the calculating engines used in most computers. That will include some chips for PCs and data centers in 2023, he said, and give Intel more flexibility in meeting customer needs.
But manufacturing will remain the core of Intel’s strategy, Mr. Gelsinger said, despite its recent technical problems.
He said significant improvements were being made in its next production process, which was delayed last summer. Intel also will engage with IBM in a new partnership to develop new chip-making technology, he added.
Mr. Gelsinger’s plans are bound to meet skepticism. Besides recent problems with manufacturing technology, Intel has tried in the past to operate as a foundry for other companies with little success.
But Intel has modified those plans in several ways. For one thing, it will for the first time be willing to license its technical crown jewels — the so-called x86 designs used in most of the world’s computers — so customers can incorporate that computing capability in chips they design for Intel to make, the company said.