Controversy plagues planned German chip fab

Questions are swirling around the future of a planned US$1.5 billion semiconductor plant, after two members quit the supervisory board overseeing the project, and a government document appearing to question its feasibility surfaced in the media. If the project collapses, as critics say it might, Intel Corp. could walk away with access to prized technology developed at taxpayer expense.

Earlier this month, officials announced with great fanfare the launch of the new enterprise, Communicant Semiconductor Technologies AG, with a minority investment by Intel, in the economically depressed eastern German city of Frankfurt an der Oder. The publicly funded research and development organization Institut f