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Intel Invests $3.5 Billion in Chip Plant
Dec 2, 2005
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Chip maker Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, California, U.S.) plans to build a new 300-mm wafer fabrication facility at its site in Kiryat Gat, Israel. The new factory is designated Fab 28 and will begin production of microprocessors in the second half of 2008 using 45 nanometer (nm) process technology. It will be Intel's second 45nm factory. Construction on the U.S. $3.5 billion project will begin immediately.

"Intel is committed to widening its lead in advanced semiconductor manufacturing,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. "Our manufacturing network is a strategic asset of unmatched scope and scale that gives Intel the ability to provide customers with leading-edge products in high volume. Today’s announcement of a second 45nm high-volume factory reaffirms that Intel platforms will contain the most advanced and innovative technology in the world for years to come."

Fab 28 will become Intel’s seventh 300mm wafer facility. The structure will include 200,000 square feet of clean room space and will create more than 2,000 Intel jobs at the site. The Israeli government is providing financial incentives for the new facility.

Intel currently operates five 300mm fabs that provide the equivalent manufacturing capacity of about eight older generation 200mm factories. The facilities are located in the U.S. States of Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico, as well as in Ireland. An expansion of Intel’s 300mm capacity in Ireland (Fab 24-2) is scheduled to begin operations in the first quarter of 2006. In July of this year, Intel announced plans to invest more than $3 billion to build another 300mm fab, Fab 32, in Chandler, Arizona.

Intel says manufacturing with 300-mm wafers (about 12 inches in diameter) dramatically increases the ability to produce semiconductors at a lower cost compared with more commonly used 200-mm (eight-inch) wafers. The bigger wafers lower production cost per chip while diminishing overall use of resources. Using 300mm manufacturing technology is also said to consume 40 percent less energy and water per chip than a 200mm wafer factory. Intel’s 45nm technology, which will first be put in high volume production at Fab 32, will allow chip circuitry to be built at about half the size of today’s standard 90nm technology.

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