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Intel's 12-incher starts to throb

Tualatin rests on Chandler success

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Focus on Fabs If you believe the following posting on Intel's old irritant Face Intel, its Chandler fab 12 factory is a hotbed of unbridled sexual licence.

Given that many of its employees are sweating long shifts in their Bunny Suits, this beggars belief, although the capacity of people to fall for each other despite the most adverse of conditions is a recurrent theme in world literature.

The Chandler site, (the new one is called Fab 22) in many respects, is crucial to Intel's move to .13 micron technology, which will make chips cheaper, faster and cooler, churn out all manner of microprocessors and produce its copper interconnect technology.

The .13 micron fab in Chandler, Arizona, has not, so far as we know, been put on the back burner, like Fab 24 in Ireland and building continues. In the words of one insider there, it's going "ball to the walls" with no let up in construction activity.

Although its Hillsboro fab will be the first to churn out Fosters, McKinleys and the rest, Chandler is intended to be a full scale engine which will act as a model for other existing plants Intel owns.

Intel managed to gain prior environmental approval for its expansion plans at Chandler, but there still seems to be some concern about water supply in the area. There isn't enough of it, and fabs (and for that matter state-of-the-art golf courses) guzzle water like there's no tomorrow.

However, Intel is contributing to the community. It has built a Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment unit there. That takes waste water and is actually returning the precious fluid to the city's aquifer, we learn.

The Chandler City Council in its latest report to its citizens speaks warmly of how Intel's new 12-incher [that's 300mm, OK? Ed] will help provide additional work in the community. Unemployment in the ville "hovers" around two per cent, out of a population of around 180,000.

For Intel employees wishing or having to re-locate to Chandler, there's even a specialist realtor, a Mr John Vollmecke, who describes himself as an Intel Relocation Specialist.

And employees don't have to worry too much about dangerous chemicals sloshing around. Emergency firefighter Jason Goetz reckons that heart attacks are more common than serious spills at the plant.

If you're thinking of taking a job with Chipzilla at Chandler, this site gives its take on the ups and downs of life at Intel.

Intel "is a little more uptight" than other Silicon Valley companies, it warns. Paid sabbaticals, stock options, and reimbursement of tuition fees are the sweeteners for working for Chipzilla, but the downside is what it describes as "massive beaurocracy" and "long workdays".

Its offices are described as a "cube farm" and "Intel needs people who are direct, who aren’t timid or easily cowed." This is part of Chipzilla's policy of Constructive Confrontation.

When we first wrote this piece, we were under the impression that Chandler does not have its own local newspaper but one of our lovely readers has put us right on that score. It has a small weekly, not yet on the Web, called the Chandler Independent, and it is also served by the Arizona Republic.

And there is great community spirit in Chandler.

This piece, from the Phoenix Bizjournal, tells how Intel engineers are voluntarily teaching local kids how to build rockets. Cough. ®

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