"We have invested $40 million in Israel over the years in research and development, in fabs, in Mobileye, and in Intel Capital, and we'll continue to invest," Intel CEO Robert Swan said recently in his first visit to Israel since being officially appointed to his position. Swan is in Israel for the launch of Intel's new startup accelerator in Israel, which will be named Ignite. Former Microsoft for Startups global manager Tzahi Weisfeld, who recently left the company, is being appointed CEO of Ignite. Swan held a press conference in which he answered questions about Intel's plans, the fab in Israel, Mobileye, and the acquisition by Nvidia of Mellanox, which Intel was a candidate to acquire.
Q: What plans does Intel have for future investment in Israel?
Swan: "We have been operating in Israel for 45 years, during which we have invested $40 billion, including in research and development, production, Mobileye, and the Intel Capital fund, which has substantial investment capability. It is an important part of the company, and will continue investing. But I assume that the question concerns production activity. Late last year, we announced that the company's growth rate and the opportunities we see - in a potential market of $300 billion - were higher than expected. This was good news. The challenge was that we did not have enough production capacity to meet the growing global demand for our products. So we said at the time, first of all, we will never put the customers who trust us in a position in which we limit their growth because we lack production capacity. This is a promise I gave customers all over the world. Accordingly, what we are about to do is to expand the production facilities in the US, Israel, and Ireland. Our big budget is waiting for production facilities around the world. This is our plan. We presented the business plan last December or January. Our plan is to expand the production capacity in our fabs in these three countries over time, so that we will not have to limit the growth of our customers."
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