Intel received the green light to build a $2.5 billion, 12-inch wafer plant in northern China. The plant will use the 90nm technology and will be used to manufacture chipsets.
The plant would use 90-nanometer technology and produce 52,000 wafers a month at full capacity, according to the NDRC, which is China's top planning group. The plan calls for the fab to be in the city of Dalian.
Little more was known, but sources familiar with the project said an announcement is expected from Intel in the next few weeks.
Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said, "We have announced no plans and will not comment on speculation of this nature."
If true, the development could have wide-ranging impact on the US semiconductor industry. The US government exercises tight control over the export of advanced high-tech manufacturing techniques, and that should restrict Intel from using anything under 0.18 micron in China. Even its NOR flash is made on more advanced processes.
Intel building a fab in China would signal a loosening of export control policy, and allow US semiconductor gear makers to increase sales to China. Yet such a development would also contradict a current Bush administration attempt to tighten export control policy in regards to China.