SAN JOSE, Calif. - Continuing its aggressive fab expansion efforts, Intel Corp. on Friday (Feb. 18) announced plans to invest more than $5 billion to build a new chip manufacturing facility at its site in Chandler, Ariz.
Initially, Intel's new Arizona factory, designated Fab 42, will bea 300-mm plant. It will also be compatible for 450-mm-if or when that wafer size is ready, according to the chip giant. Fab 42 will process wafers at the 14-nm node-and perhaps beyond. This is said to be the world's most advanced fab. Construction of the new fab is expected to begin in the middle of this year and is expected to be completed in 2013.
“The investment positions our manufacturing network for future growth,” said Brian Krzanich, senior vice president and general manager of manufacturing and supply chain at Intel, in a statement. “This fab will begin operations on a process that will allow us to create transistors with a minimum feature size of 14 nanometers.''
The announcement was made by Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini during a visit by President Barack Obama at an Intel facility in Hillsboro, Ore. on Friday. Otellini also said Intel would add4,000 U.S. jobs in 2011. During the visit Friday, Obama also planned to name Otellini to his council on jobs and competitiveness, according to an Associated Press report that cites an anonymous source within the White House.
Otellini recently called for the U.S. government to provide tax concessions for companies that build factories in the United States. At one time, he was also critical of the Obama administration and its policies towards U.S. businesses.
On the other hand, Intel recently obtained a grant from the Israeli government to build a 300-mm fab in that nation. It plans to expand its fab in Ireland. In addition, Intel recently begun operations within its first fab in China. And after some delays, Intel has officially opened its new IC-packaging and test plant in Vietnam.
Artist's rendering of the $5 billion new chip manufacturing facility and support buildings to be built at Intel's site in Chandler, Ariz.
Now, Intel is expanding in the U.S. Friday's announcement represents Intel's second major fab announcement in recent weeks. And it is also in response to fab announcements from Globalfoundries, Samsung, TSMC and others. Globalfoundries, which is expanding its fab efforts, builds processors on a foundry basis for rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. The foundries are also building ARM-based chips, which compete against those from Intel.
Intel recently reported record sales for the fourth quarter and full year 2010, beating analysts' expectations. The No. 1 chip vendor also said it wouldboost capital spending this year by 73 percent compared with last year.
As part of the capital spending plan,Intel in October 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. The fab will be 450-mm ''ready,'' but it can also process 300-mm wafers.
Then, in December, Intel obtained a grant from the Israeli government to build a 300-mm fab in that nation. Intel will receive a grant from the Investment Promotion Center, according to reports. This will be part of Intel's $2.7 billion investment in Fab 28, a 300-mm plant in Kiryat Gat. Fab 28 is said to be a 22-nm production site.
In January, Intel moved 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.
The 300-mm fab will also process wafers at the 22-nm node, according to sources.
I expected this! There seems to be hesitation for new 300mm fabs since the downturn. Companies rather invest in upgrading and ramping existing fabs. But upgrading tech nodes can not compensate for increasing demand long. Some of the leading edge companies face the questions: invest in new 300mm fab or wait a few years to get into 450mm?
Let's give some credit to Intel. It is making an effort to create jobs in the U.S. (and elsewhere.) Intel is also not flexing its muscle on game shows. It is trying to create jobs and keep manufacturing alive in the U.S.