LONDON – Intel Corp. is set to spend $500 million as it re-commissions Fab 14 at its wafer fab site in Leixlip, Ireland, according to local reports. The move will create 200 long term technical jobs after a two-year build is completed. More importantly the investment looks set to secure the jobs at the three wafer fabs currently active there.
Fab 14 closed in the summer of 2009 with the loss of 298 jobs and reducing the number of wafer fabs Intel operates in Ireland to three; numbered 10, 24 and 24-2 where it runs relatively trailing edge processes at 90-nm and 65-nm. In February 2010 Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) completed decommissioning the fab shell and even took at the perforated flooring that supports laminar airflow.
The $500 million could be the beginning of a fresh wave of investment if Leixlip is selected to become a center of excellence for a future generation of microprocessors. There has also been discussion that Leixlip could play a part in preparing Intel for production of chips on 450-mm diameter wafers.
It is not yet clear exactly what Intel has in mind for the new fab module.
"We were able to convince Paul [Otellini, CEO of Intel] that he couldn’t go anywhere else on the planet and get a better deal than in Leixlip, on any metric you want to pick. Whether it was cost, whether it was productivity, whether it was quality, responsive to customers, you name it," the Irish Times quoted Eamonn Sinnott, Intel vice president and general manager of operations in Ireland, as saying.