Investing in making chips

21 February 2011

Intel Corporation has announced plans to invest more than $5 billion in building a new chip manufacturing facility at its site in Chandler, Arizona. The announcement was made by Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini during a visit by President Obama.

Designated Fab 42, the new Arizona factory will be the most advanced, high-volume semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world. Construction of the new fab is expected to begin in the middle of this year and should be completed in 2013.

“The investment positions our manufacturing network for future growth,” said Brian Krzanich, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Manufacturing and Supply Chain (pictured). “This fab will begin operations on a process that will allow us to create transistors with a minimum feature size of 14 nanometers. For Intel, manufacturing serves as the underpinning for our business and allows us to provide customers and consumers with leading-edge products in high volume. The unmatched scope and scale of our investments in manufacturing help Intel maintain industry leadership and drives innovation.”

While more than three-quarters of Intel’s sales come from outside of the United States, Intel manufactures around 75% of its microprocessors in the US. The addition of this new fab will significantly increase the company’s American manufacturing capability.

Building the new fab on the leading-edge 14-nanometer process enables Intel to manufacture more powerful and efficient computer chips. The nanometer specification refers to the minimum dimensions of transistor technology.

“The products based on these leading-edge chips will give consumers unprecedented levels of performance and power efficiency across a range of computing devices from high-end servers to ultra-sleek portable devices,” said Krzanich.

Fab 42 will be built as a 300mm factory, which refers to the size of the wafers that contain the computer chips. The project will create thousands of construction and permanent manufacturing jobs at Intel’s Arizona site.

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