SAN FRANCISCO (01/25/2000) - Intel Corp. will spend US$2 billion to build a new manufacturing facility in Chandler, Arizona, that will help the chip giant cut production costs and keep pace with demand for its products, company officials said today.
The plant will be Intel's first high-volume manufacturing facility for producing 300-millimeter "wafers" -- the platters of silicon from which microprocessors and other chips are cut. Most chip plants today produce 200-millimeter wafers.
The larger wafer size will help Intel reduce manufacturing costs by as much as 30 percent per processor, said Mike Splinter, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group.
"More volume and lower costs, that's the important thing here," he said.
The new plant, to be known as Fab 22, will create about 1,000 new jobs over five to eight years, including engineers, technicians and support personnel, Intel officials said. The chip maker currently employs 8,150 Intel employees in Chandler, many of them at an existing plant known as Fab 12.
Intel expects to bring Fab 22 online during 2001 and expects to eventually produce 35,000 to 40,000 wafers per month.
The company will initially make 200-millimeter wafers using a 0.13-micron process and Intel's copper wiring technology, and transition to the larger wafer size by about 2002, an Intel spokesman said.
Intel also said today that it continues to eye other sites for additional manufacturing capacity, including a site in New Mexico.
Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, can be contacted at +1-408-765-8080, or at http://www.intel.com/.