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Are Intel CPUs Made In China?

Various productions facilities have been outsourced or set up overseas and generally, they can provide an economic advantage to allow companies to out-compete or catch up to competitors. 

The CPU is a very important part of a computer, so you may be wondering where they’re made and if they’re manufactured in China like other well-known electronic brands. I looked into the official info from Intel about where their CPUs are made to see if they’re made in China.

Intel CPUs are not made in China. But, the chipsets which are a few small parts seated on the motherboard are manufactured in the Intel facility in China as well as, in Hudson, Massachusetts. Chipsets control the communication between components plugged into the motherboard.

Various computer components that Intel makes are produced in various countries around the world. So, below I will explain where Intel CPUs are made, what brands of CPUs are made in China, whether Intel makes its own chips, what country Intel is from, and where its headquarters is.

Where Are Intel CPUs Made?

Intel

Since Intel CPUs are not made in China, I looked into what countries Intel CPUs are made in. Based on my research I found they are made in the following countries.

The USA, Ireland, and Israel. In the USA they are manufactured in Oregon, Massachusetts, Arizona, and New Mexico. In Ireland, they are made in Leixlip, which is a city just east of Dublin the capital city. In Israel, they are made in the Kiryat Gat which is in the center of Israel.

Each of these production facilities makes the CPUs and chipsets. Additionally, some of the chipsets Intel makes are manufactured in China.

Here’s a helpful table that makes it easy to see where all of the components are made:

ComponentCountries where they are made
Chipsets onlyChina
Chipsets, and microprocessorsIreland
Chipsets and other componentsUSA (Massachusetts only)
MicroprocessorsUSA (Arizona, New Mexico, and Oregon)

Interestingly, in Oregon Intel has 3 different production facilities. They were opened in different years, one in 2001, one in 2003, and another in 2013. They also have two production facilities in Arizona. All other countries only have one production facility.

Once the parts are manufactured they are sent to different countries for them to be assembled and tested. These facilities are located in:

  • China – 2 facilities in the same city
  • Costa Rica – 1 facility
  • Malaysia – 3 facilities
  • Vietnam – 1 facility

When deciding whether to get an AMD or Intel CPU you’ll likely be interested in whether there are any known flaws with Intel CPUs. I covered this in detail in this article about whether Intel CPUs are bad

Certain generations of Intel CPUs that came out in recent years weren’t an improvement from the previous CPUs, which means some generations of CPUs are far superior to others, I explained which ones to avoid in that article.

What Is Intel’s Origin Country?

Intel is one of the leading computer component manufacturers, and it’s interesting to know how they started and where they first began. Here’s a brief history of where Intel started and how it came to be the massive company they are today.

Intel began in Mountainview, California, the USA in 1968 according to Intel archivist and historian Elizabeth Jones. Its headquarters are in Santa Clara, California in the City of San Jose the next biggest city south of San Francisco. This is a region colloquially known as Silicon Valley.

It was started by two men Gordon E. Moore and Robert Noyce. Both are recognized for making interesting observations about technology. For example, Gordon E. Moore discovered the relationship known as Moore’s Law, which describes the rate at which transistors in computers increases.

Robert Noyce was nicknamed the ‘Mayor of Silicon Valley’ and invented the integrated circuit which is known as the modern-day microchip. Various computer components such as the RAM are fragile and need to be handled very carefully. You may be wondering if the same is true of CPUs. I explained the answer to this question in this article about whether CPUs are fragile.

Does Intel Manufacture Its Own Chips?

It’s common for companies to outsource the manufacturer of certain parts, or to import parts from other countries and rebrand them. Intel is headquartered and has many production facilities in the USA. But, do they make their own chips.

Intel does make its own chips. All of the production facilities where Intel components and chips are made are owned by Intel. The productions facilities have only the Intel logo out the front. For example, the ‘Intel Fab 86’ in China is a big blue building the same as all the other Intel facilities.

The Intel production facilities are known as ‘fabs’. You can see the exterior of the fab 86 if you search on Google for ‘intel china Dalian’. Dalian is the region where the production facility is located. You will notice this facility is completely branded as Intel.

The same is true of all the international Intel fabs and assembly facilities. Such as the ones in Vietnam, Malaysia, Ireland, and Israel. The manufacturer of computer components is understandably a closely guarded secret. 

Therefore, in my opinion, it’s likely that Intel wants to keep all of its production in-house. And also since they have a proven system to manufacture and test their components, it’s much easier to replicate this by building a purpose-built facility. Rather than outsourcing it to another company that could potentially copy their technology.

As you may know the top laptop and computer companies such as Lenovo, and HP typically have Intel motherboards and CPUs. You may have noticed the holographic Intel sticker on the exterior of these computers and others.

Which CPUs Are Made In China? 

Although Intel and AMD are the most popular CPU and motherboard providers, especially for gaming computers, I thought it’s likely there are Chinese-based companies that also make CPUs, or thought some CPU companies outside of China also make their CPUs in China. I found out which CPUs are made in China and here’s what they are. 

AMD one of the biggest motherboard and CPU manufacturers has a joint venture in China that makes AMD components for the Chinese market. Also, lesser-known companies such as Feiteng, HiSilicon, Ingenic, Loongson, Rockchip, Sunway, UNISOC, and Zhaoxin are Chinese-based CPU manufacturers.

According to Investopedia and Wikipedia, none of these are in the top 10 biggest providers of computer components. The top 10 are:

  1. Intel
  2. Samsung
  3. TSMC
  4. SK Hynix
  5. Micron
  6. Qualcomm
  7. Broadcom
  8. Nvidia
  9. TI
  10. Infineon

The largest computer parts manufacturers are USA-based, from South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.

Sources

I started building and fixing PCs in high school. After a couple of years of offering consultancy to a PC repair shop, I became the goto guy for all my acquaintances for PC/Laptop related buying advice or troubleshooting.