LONDON Leading chip company Intel Corp. is planning to spend $2-billion preparing for transition to 450-mm diameter wafers in 2013.
The company has forecast a total capital expenditure for 2013 of $13 billion and the company's chief financial officer Stacy Smith broke the number for 450-mm developments out during a conference call with analysts to discuss the company's 4Q12 financial results.
"Capital spending for our core business is expected to be roughly flat to 2012. Additionally, we will spend roughly $2 billion to start building our first 450-millimeter development facility," Smith said.
Neither Smith nor CEO Paul Otellini indicated where the 450-mm development facility would be located. Intel already has two wafer fabs that have been previously labeled as being destined for 450-mm wafer production; the D1X fab in Hillsboro, Oregon and Fab 42 in Chandler, Oregon.
One possibility is that the $2 billion is earmarked for the construction of a second 1.1 million square foot module at Hillsboro alongside D1X module 1 in Hillsboro.
Without referencing Hillsboro Otellini told analysts that they were starting to see the first significant investments in bricks and mortar and some equipment in preparation for the transition to 450-mm production, which would happen later in the decade. Otellini added that the investment in ASML Lithography NV that took place in 2012 has put the company in a better position to predict the exact timing of the transition and to deploy capital.
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