'No change' in Intel's plans for Leixlip
Intel has a policy of applying for “preparatory” permission, which means it is ready to begin construction when Intel’s decision makers give the go-ahead.
Intel also insists that its recalling of 600 employees was all within normal business practices for the firm, with its business hinging on the economic conditions around the globe.
“The headcount of people being sent home, they weren’t people that were associated with preparing for the new technology,” Sinnott says.
“They came home a little bit earlier than they otherwise would have, and that’s a very normal activity – moving people around the world for wherever the work is.”
As one of the biggest private sector employers in the State, Intel is always under the microscope.
The company has been in operation in Ireland for more than 20 years and has consistently evolved its business over the years, moving from European system supply manufacturing business to manufacturing microchips.
However, the changing technology landscape and the company’s failure to initially capitalise on mobile and tablet devices have left it playing catch-up in the sector. It has less than 1 per cent of the market for chips and smartphones, with ARM and Qualcomm dominating instead.
Intel is hoping that the new generation of Medfield phones, which are powered by Intel chips, will help redress the balance.
The Motorola Razr i is the first of them to be available in Ireland; others include the Orange San Diego handset, the Lenovo K800 and the Lava Xolo X900.
Intel’s lack of movement in the mobile market has already claimed one high profile name; Paul Otellini is set to step down in May, three years earlier than planned.
There was good news though for the chipmaker this week. A benchmark report on the phones’ performance may give the Medfield platform the boost that it needs.
Bernstein Research analysts said that the chips were as energy efficient as their competitors, which could lead to a greater uptake by phone makers in the coming years.
Intel may also be counting on a boost from Windows 8 devices. Microsoft’s latest operating system has only just hit the market, but the tech giant is hoping that it will help tackle the growing decline in the PC market and boost Microsoft in the tablet sector.