Intel is the world's leading designer and manufacturer of advanced microchips. The company is widely associated with the executive leadership and vision of Andrew Grove, who guided it from his role as president in 1979 to his resignation as chairman of the board in 2004. Less well known is that Intel is Israel's largest private sector employer, with almost 10,000 workers in the country. Only one other domestic company, Teva Pharmaceuticals, approaches the size of Intel's operations in Israel.
Intel has been operating in Israel for over 40 years, and many of Intel's most important technological solutions have been based on Israeli expertise. In 1972, Dov Frohman, an Israeli Intel engineer in California, invented the EPROM, the first semiconductor chip whose memory could be erased and easily reprogrammed. Because of the financial success of EPROM, Intel gave Frohman the chance to set up Intel's research and development office in Haifa, Israel, in 1974.
That office was so successful that Intel turned to Frohman to build in Israel the company's first manufacturing plant outside of the United States. Frohman defiantly kept the Israel manufacturing plant operating during the 1991 Gulf War despite the threat of SCUD missile and chemical weapon attacks. In 1995, Frohman spearheaded the development of Intel's second manufacturing plant in Israel at Kiryat Gat. Between these two plants, Intel has manufactured and exported as many as one billion microprocessors and processor components. The company is Israel's biggest exporter, shipping almost $4 billion dollars worth of chips abroad every year.
Israeli engineers have been behind many other Intel success stories, from the processor that powered IBM's first personal computer to the thin chips that revolutionized the laptop industry in the 2000s. Today, Intel conducts research and development from four locations in Israel and manufactures chips from sites in Kiryat Gat and Jerusalem. The company is also a major venture capital investor in Israeli start-ups. Since 1996, Intel Capital has invested in more than 70 Israeli companies.
In 2014, Intel and Israel announced a deal to make Intel's investment in Israel even bigger. In return for substantial subsidies, Intel has committed more than $6 billion to remodel and upgrade its Kiryat Gat manufacturing plant to fabricate the company's next generation of advanced microchips. In addition, Intel has committed to spending more than $550 million in Israel in the next five years.
Company website: www.intel.co.il