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Intel Ireland full of crack, booze

Arthur Guinness started his career here

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Focus on Fabs OK, we don't mean to suggest there's a drug problem at Intel Ireland, for craic, pronounced 'crack', is Irish for fun, and there's stacks of fun loving Bunny Suiters at Intel's fab in Leixlip, just a little way away from Dublin, in County Kildare.

We visited the Leixlip fab a few years back, and you can find the prehistoric version of The Register story here.

At one time, Intel used to build its infamous white unbranded boxes at Leixlip, sold through the channel, but those days are now long gone. We think. Although Intel does still seem to make generic servers, we don't know if the lads and lasses at Leixlip have anything to do with that any more.

Leixlip was built on an old stud farm and uses the same water from the River Liffey that later on its course produces that fine drink Guinness. We were a little worried about this when we first heard about it, but were re-assured to learn that after Intel has produced a heap of microprocessors using Liffey water, it was so pure that they had to put impurities in before sending it on its way to the booze factory. (See Intel makes a pint of Guinness taste nicer).

There's a history of Intel's involvement with Leixlip at this page which gives some bare bones about life there. Although Intel seems to have put Leixlip Fab 24 - one of its advanced fab schemes - on the back burner for the time being, there's little doubt that's only for the short term. Latest figures suggest around 4,000 people work at Intel Leixlip.

Intel's press release about that expansion, now temporarily halted, is here, while our stories about problems with the expansion are here and here.

As you have no doubt guessed, Intel's old irritant Face Intel has some info on its site about Leixlip as well as a pretty map of the Emerald Isle. (Island Magee - actually a peninsula - is in the six counties north of Eire's border).

The Irish are a fun loving lot, particularly when they get Arthur Guinness down them, and drinking with them is fun. But, and this is a big but, there must be some brain implant that works even when Intel staff are trashed. However much alcohol is swilling round in their system, they never tell you any secrets.

This must be because they have learnt that a favoured trick by seasoned UK hacks is to get pickled with people and then remember absolutely everything about the conversation the next time they are that pickled. Unfortunately, this can make for somewhat garbled stories if they attempt to use a computer in such a state...

One oddity about Intel Ireland is that you will notice no dropped "e" when you drive up to Leixlip's gates. This anomaly has something to do, we believe, with some tax breaks that Intel gets from the Irish government. Or maybe not. The mystery is a hard nut to craic. ®

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