Intel Corp said it may invest up to $5.5 billion in manufacturing semiconductors in China, stepping up efforts to improve ties with Beijing as it seeks new revenue streams while demand for its core computer processing chips falters.
The U.S. firm said it would convert a facility in Dalian, its first plant in China, for memory chip production. It didn't disclose a time period for the investment, but said it will start making advanced memory chips that can store data without using up power, called 3D NAND chips, in second-half 2016.
The move follows a flurry of deals in the global semiconductor industry, highlighting growing importance of the memory chips used to store data in increasingly popular mobile devices. Researcher TrendForce predicts China will consume $6.67 billion worth of NAND chips this year, or 29 percent of global NAND industry revenue.