SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Intel Corp. today unexpectedly pulled another new $2 billion fab out of its hat -- a 0.13-micron process expansion in Rio Rancho, N.M. that is now becoming the MPU giant's first 300-mm wafer production plant.
The new greenfield fab will have 135,000 sq. ft. of cleanroom space, and will adjoin the existing Fab 11. However, it will come up from the start as a 300-mm fab, beating the new Chandler, Ariz., plant as the first 300-mm production site, said Mike Splinter, head of Intel's technology manufacturing group. Chandler will open as a 200-mm fab late next year and convert at a yet-undesignated time to 300-mm, he said.
The New Mexico expansion (so far just called Fab 11 Expansion) will make a range of Intel microprocessors, the same as at the existing facility. Although it will be launched in 2002 with 0.13-micron processing, Intel will have introduced the next-generation shrink fabrication in other fabs before that time.
As with all Intel 0.13-micron processing, the fab will also use copper interconnect for metal layers, Splinter said.
The new fab will employ up to 1,000 additional workers beyond the 5,000-person work force at the New Mexico location now.
Intel has been on a fab expansion spree ever since raising its capital investment budget this year to $7 billion. SBN has previously reported that Intel has bought additional land in Hillsboro, Ore., for expansion of its development fab complex there. The firm is also reportedly considering expansion in Israel. Major fab projects -- either new construction or extensive upgrades -- are underway at Chandler; Hudson, Mass.; and at the Colorado fab acquired from Rockwell International.