Intel To Build 300-mm Wafer Fabrication Facility in Arizona

    July 25, 2005
    Chris Crum

Intel announced today that it plans to build a new 300-mm wafer fabrication facility called Fab 32 on its property in Chandler, Arizona.

The factory is expected to begin manufacturing microprocessors sometime in the second half of 2007. It is a $3 billion project and construction is set to begin immediately.

Intel To Build 300-mm Wafer Fabrication Facility in Arizona

“This investment positions our manufacturing network for future growth to support our platform initiatives and will give us additional supply flexibility across a range of products,” said Intel CEO Paul Otellini. According to a press release,

Intel currently operates four 300-mm fabs that provide the equivalent manufacturing capacity of about eight 200-mm factories. Those factories are located in Oregon, Ireland and New Mexico. The company also has an additional 300-mm fab currently under construction in Arizona (Fab 12) scheduled to begin operations later this year, and one expansion in Ireland (Fab 24-2) scheduled to begin operations in the first quarter of next year.

Manufacturing with 300-mm wafers (about 12 inches in diameter) dramatically increases the ability to produce semiconductors at a lower cost compared with more widely used 200-mm (eight-inch) wafers. The total silicon surface area of a 300-mm wafer is 225 percent, or more than twice that of a 200-mm wafer, and the number of printed die (individual computer chips) is increased to 240 percent. The bigger wafers lower the production cost per chip while diminishing overall use of resources. Three-hundred-mm wafer manufacturing will use 40 percent less energy and water per chip than a 200-mm wafer factory.

“For Intel, manufacturing is a key competitive advantage that serves as the underpinning for our business and allows us to provide customers with leading-edge products in high volume,” said Otellini.” The unmatched scope and scale of our investments in manufacturing help Intel maintain industry leadership and drive innovation.”

The factory will be the company’s sixth 300-mm wafer facility. It will be about a million square feet, and will create around 1000 new jobs with the company. Over 3,000 people are being hired just to work on the construction process.

Intel said it will also be investing $105 million into the conversion of an existing inactive wafer fab in New Mexico to a component temporary test facility, creating 300 new jobs in New Mexico.

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.