Intel has confirmed that Fab 42 in Chandler, Arizona will remain vacant as the company will deploy its 14nm process at an existing facility in Chandler to save costs. Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy explained that by building 22nm and 14nm chips in the same facility, the company can more effectively and efficiently use the capital dollars in the existing facilities and double the use of the tools.
The new facility was touted by President Barack Obama as a symbol of the future of US manufacturing and was to bring 1,000 jobs and a $5.2 billion investment but the chip giant now plans to use it for "future technologies at a future date". Fab 42 was originally planned to open its doors at the end of 2013. About two-thirds of the cost of a new facility is typically spent on the tools inside, so Intel has likely invested around $1.7 billion in Fab 42 to date.
Intel's decision to upgrade an existing facility is likely a result of the glut in demand for PCs and the company's struggle to gain a foothold in the smartphone and tablet markets.
There are about 11,900 full-time employees at Intel’s two Chandler campuses. In 2011, when plans for the new fabrication facility were announced, there were about 9,700 full-time employees.
“It doesn’t matter which building they work in; we’ve already increased the workforce by more than 1,000 people at that work site,” Mulloy said.
Intel received about $3.3 million in state tax credits from the Arizona Commerce Authority for job creation, the organization reported. The company received credit for 348 jobs in 2011 and 743 jobs in 2012. This credit is available for companies that create at least 25 jobs and invest at least $5 million in capital.
The Fab 42 plant was touted as the most advanced high-volume semiconductor-manufacturing facility in the world. The massive structure was among the world’s largest construction projects in recent years, built with the world’s largest land-based crane, capable of pulling 4,000 tons, according to Intel.