Intel announced it has started producing 45nm processors in high volume at its new fab in Chandler, Arizona.
Called "Fab 32," the $3 billion factory will use Intel's innovative 45nm process technology based on Intel's breakthrough in "reinventing" certain areas of the transistors inside its processors to reduce energy leakage. The 45nm transistors use a Hafnium-based high-k material for the gate dielectric and metal materials for the gate, and are so small that more than 2 million can fit on the period at the end of this sentence. Millions of these tiny transistors will make up Intel's faster, more energy efficient lead- and halogen-free processors for PCs, laptops and servers, as well as ultra low-power processors for mobile Internet and consumer electronic devices, and low-cost PCs. The first of the company's 45nm processors is scheduled to be introduced on Nov. 12.
"The opening of Fab 32 in Arizona today is a testament to Intel's continued investment in our most strategic asset -- the most advanced, environmentally friendly manufacturing network in the world," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. "The magic of 45nm and our new transistor design allow us to deliver high-performance, energy-efficient processors to our customers across the entire spectrum of market segments, from the most powerful servers to a variety of mobile devices and everything in between."
Fab 32 is Intel's sixth 300mm wafer factory and its second factory to produce 45nm chips. Intel first produced 45nm processors in its Oregon development facility, called D1D, in January and is now moving into high-volume production with the opening of Fab 32. Two additional 45nm, 300mm manufacturing factories are scheduled to open next year in Kiryat Gat, Israel (Fab 28) and Rio Rancho, N.M. (Fab 11x). Using 300mm wafers lowers the production cost per chip while diminishing overall use of resources.
With 184,000 square feet of clean room space, the completed Fab 32 structure measures 1 million square feet, so large that more than 17 U.S. football fields could fit inside the building. More than 1,000 employees will operate the factory in such positions as process, automation and yield engineers and senior manufacturing technicians.