Intel has announced that it has reopened its Fab 12 facility in Arizona and is preparing to produce the latest in processor technology at this location. Fab 12, which shut down in 2004, has gone through quite a change, in terms of technology and personnel. Intel has dedicated over $2 billion dollars to retool the facility and bring some 800 new employees. Typically, an entirely new fabrication facility will cost Intel roughly $5 billion.

According to Intel's documents, Fab 12 is poised to produce the new 65nm processors as of this writing. Besides processors, Fab 12 will produce other logics such as chipsets and possibly other things. Intel has also designed Fab 12 to take advantage of more efficient manufacturing techniques provide customers with cost savings wherever possible. The facility is equipped to manufacture logic based on the latest 300mm size wafers that is quickly becoming the common standard -- although there are many fabrication facilities out there that are still running on 200mm wafers, including other Intel sites such as: Fab 22 (also in Arizona), and Fab 18. The only other Intel fab capable of producing 65nm processors on 300mm wafers is Fab 24-2, located in Leixlip, Ireland.

We spoke to Intel's corporate spokesperson Chuck Mulloy earlier this week and asked if the current shuffle in off shoring labor and workers is a trend for them. Chuck quickly assured us that with Fab 12 and others, Intel plans to expand in the US and in other countries and relocating responsibilities is part of being able to produce better technologies, and not to simply cut costs. Chuck tells us:

Intel is certainly expanding our investments and operations in international markets, we continue to invest heavily in the U.S. For example over the past 3 months we have announced more than $4 billion in our U.S. manufacturing operations including another new fab in Arizona ( Fab 32) a $650 million in Fab 11X in New Mexico, a $300 million investment in Colorado Springs and a 150 million in Hudson. MA. As you can see we are in the process of updating our manufacturing operations worldwide.

As you may know the first factory to produce products on 65 nm is D1D in Oregon. In the first quarter of 2006 we will commence production of 65 nm in a portion of Fab 24 located in Liexlip Ireland. Later in 2006, D1C, also located in Oregon will begin production using the 65 nm process.

It's clear that Intel's plans reflect its global sales performance. The trend recently has been better processors for less money and Intel is definitely moving towards this direction. When we see a wider implementation of 300mm/65nm technology, we can be sure that prices across the entire hardware spectrum will be pushed down. Most if not all memory today though, is still produced with older 200mm/0.18um technology -- Intel's Fab 8, which was built in 1984 and located in Jerusalem still produces products (some logic and flash memory) on 0.35um and 1.0um technology.

More information on the different facilities Intel has around the globe can be found here.


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  • tokath - Monday, November 7, 2005 - link

    they're hardly making minimum wage and alot are local, some community colleges even have courses that are pretty much specific to intel fabs (here in oregon and washington anyways), I know a couple of fab techs in Oregon and they pay well, a contractor with little to no experience can make at least $12 and an intel employee (especially those with at least an associates) can make alot more. Reply
  • semo - Monday, November 7, 2005 - link

    i never knew memory used such old manufacturing processes. how long before we get mem sticks build on 200mm/65nm tech? that should give some sweet price reductions Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Monday, November 7, 2005 - link

    yes, maybe that would allow for faster flash memory to replace hdds. Reply
  • jonobp1 - Monday, November 7, 2005 - link

    Atleast Intel is re-opening more jobs in the US. Good PR against offshoring with all the AMD suits going on. Still, I wonder how many of these workers in Arizona have fresh greencards and are making minimum wage :( Reply
  • jonobp1 - Monday, November 7, 2005 - link

    Crap, I wasted my cheesy "FIRST POST" rights on an actual comment instead of something stupid. Damn this lack of sleep, damn it to hell. Reply
  • Pannenkoek - Monday, November 7, 2005 - link

    You're an adolescent, forced to approach sense and thoughtfulness eventualy. Though you're not yet there. Reply

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