SAN FRANCISCO—Intel Corp. has confirmed speculation that it will build a new R&D wafer fab in Hillsboro, Ore., and upgrade other existing U.S. facilities for 22-nm production at a total investment of between $6 billion and $8 billion.
The investment will create 800 to 1,000 permanent high-tech jobs and 6,000 to 8,000 construction jobs, Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) said. The new development fab in Oregon, to be known as D1X, is slated for R&D startup in 2013.
Speculation that Intel was plotting a new fab at its Ronler Acres campus in Hillsboro has been building for weeks. Some speculated that the facility would be a 300-mm or even 450-mm production fab, but Intel described the facility as a development fab in an announcement Tuesday (Oct. 19).
In addition to the development fab, the investment includes upgrades to four existing facilities: Fab 12 and Fab 32 in Arizona and D1C and D1D in Oregon.
Intel has been one of a handful of companies pushing for the development of production equipment for 450-mm wafers. Though some development of these tools is taking place, most believe it will be several years before a transition to the new wafer size. Others don't believe it will ever happen.
"Today’s announcement reflects the next tranche of the continued advancement of Moore’s Law and a further commitment to invest in the future of Intel and America," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini, in a statement. "The most immediate impact of our multi-billion-dollar investment will be the thousands of jobs associated with building a new fab and upgrading four others, and the high-wage, high-tech manufacturing jobs that follow."
Intel's new capital expenditure follows a U.S. investment announcement made in February 2009 to support state-of-the-art upgrades to its manufacturing process. Those upgrades resulted in 32-nm process technology.
Intel’s first 22nm microprocessors, codenamed "Ivy Bridge," will be in production in late 2011, according to the company.