Intel today officially announced plans to build a new 300-millimeter (mm) wafer fabrication facility at its site in Kiryat Gat, Israel. The new factory, designated Fab 28, will extend Intel's manufacturing leadership by producing leading-edge microprocessors in the second half of 2008 on 45 nanometer (nm) process technology. Construction on the $3.5 billion project, Intel's second 45nm factory, is set to begin immediately.
"Intel is committed to widening its lead in advanced semiconductor manufacturing," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. "Our manufacturing network is a strategic asset of unmatched scope and scale that gives Intel the ability to provide customers with leading-edge products in high volume. Today's announcement of a second 45nm high volume factory reaffirms that Intel platforms will contain the most advanced and innovative technology in the world for years to come."
When completed, Fab 28 will become Intel's seventh 300mm wafer facility. The structure will include approximately 200,000 square feet of clean room space. Over the next several years the project will create more than 2,000 Intel jobs at the site. The Israeli government is providing financial incentives for the new facility.
Intel currently operates five 300mm fabs that provide the equivalent manufacturing capacity of about eight older generation 200mm factories. Those factories are located in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico in addition to Ireland where an expansion of Intel's 300mm capacity in Ireland (Fab 24-2) is scheduled to begin operations in the first quarter of next year. In July Intel announced plans to invest more than $3 billion to build another 300mm fab, Fab 32 in Chandler, Ariz.
Manufacturing with 300mm wafers (about 12 inches in diameter) dramatically increases the ability to produce semiconductors at a lower cost compared with more commonly used 200mm (eight-inch) wafers. The bigger wafers lower production cost per chip while diminishing overall use of resources. Using 300mm manufacturing technology consumes 40 percent less energy and water per chip than a 200mm wafer factory. Intel's 45nm technology, which will first be put in high volume production at Fab 32, will allow chip circuitry to be built at about half the size of today's standard 90nm technology.