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The San Jose Mercury News reminded us Sunday of our trip to Intel's Fab 11 in Albuquerque, one of its bigger plants which pumps out Pentium IIIs and a whole load of flash memory. The trouble with Albuquerque, as one of our tour guides pointed out to us earlier in the year, is that there isn't much water left. And because Intel uses a whole heap of water to flush away the corrosive chemicals used to make chips, and also because Albuquerque is growing pretty fast, that's a problem for the locals. Local authorities have hit out at the chip giant for using so much water since it expanded Fab 11 in 1993. The plant was first built in 1980 and Intel is aware of the local furore. It uses something like three million gallons of H20 a day, not from the deep aquifers but from surface, or groundwater. But Intel is conscious of its obligations, it insists. When it expanded its Leixlip plant (Fab 10/14) near Dublin some years back, we visited the construction site and asked the locals about the implications for an average pint of Guinness. The plant is upstream of the Guinness factory on the Liffey. In fact, a reader points out, Intel's site is on the River Rye, which feeds into the Liffey at Leixlip. Further, Leixlip was where Arthur Guinness brewed his first pint of the black stuff. We can also provide you with this further factoid, that the Intel Fab was formerly the site of a stud farm (horses, that is, not porn stars). According to the local Intel officials there, a pint of Guinness tastes better after having washed thousands of Pentiums and motherboards.... ® To see how Intel's Albuquerque fab works and one of The Register's staff in a bunny suit, refer to these articles. Intel makes The Register sweat III Intel makes The Register sweat II Intel makes The Register sweat I

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