The US$2 billion factory has begun high-volume production using 65nm process technology produced on the industry’s largest wafer size (300mm), which provides the Intel fab with the potential to generate the world’s highest microprocessor output at the lowest cost. Along with Intel’s Fab 12 in Arizona and D1D fab in Oregon, the new facility (called Fab 24-2) is the most technologically advanced, high-volume semiconductor manufacturing plant in the world building multi-core microprocessors.
“Intel is establishing a clear technology lead with our next generation of dual-core processors based on the Intel® Core™ microarchitecture,” said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. “Our manufacturing capability is key to fueling Intel’s success.”
Demonstrating the speed of its 65nm volume ramp, Intel has achieved an important manufacturing milestone with its three 65nm factories. Known as manufacturing “cross-over,” it means that Intel is currently producing more than half its PC and server microprocessors using this industry-leading process technology. During a ceremony to officially open the Ireland factory, Otellini said that the 300mm wafers that began running through the new facility three months ago helped the company reach this milestone.
The Intel achievement comes at a time when most chip firms have not yet shipped products based on 65nm. “Intel’s ability to ramp advanced 65nm silicon technology into high-volume production in three factories clearly sets us apart,” said Otellini. “The combination of 65nm technology and Intel’s new Core microarchitecture changes the game in terms of the benefits we can provide our customers.”
During the summer Intel will introduce Intel® Core™2 Duo processors for desktop (formerly codenamed Conroe) and notebooks (formerly codenamed Merom) and the Dual-Core Intel® Xeon processor 5100 series (formerly codenamed Woodcrest).
While Intel has a leadership position on 65nm process technology, it is also on track to begin production using its next-generation 45nm process technology by the end of 2007 – just two years after it started production using its 65nm process technology.