Feeds

Intel waves Old Glory with wafer baker plans

Ponying up $8bn for 'unimagined innovation'

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Chip giant Intel will shell out some $8bn and create thousands of jobs to build out chip development and fabrication facilities in the US for its future 22 nanometer PC and server chips.

The company said it will upgrade four exiting US wafer-bakers with 22nm equipment, specifically the D1C and D1D fabs in Oregon and the Fab 12 and Fab 32 factories in Arizona. Some of that $8bn will also go into the creation of a new fab, called D1X, that will be plunked down in Oregon and start pumping out test chips in 2013.

"Intel makes approximately 10 billion transistors per second. Our factories produce the most advanced computer technology in the world and these investments will create capacity for innovation we haven’t yet imagined," said Brian Krzanich, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's manufacturing and supply chain, in a statement. "Intel and the world of technology lie at the heart of this future," he continued. "Contrary to conventional wisdom, we can retain a vibrant manufacturing economy here in the United States by focusing on the industries of the future."

Intel was quick to point out that while it generates approximately three-fourths of its revenues outside of the United States, about three-quarters of its chip production capacity is located in its home country.

This, of course, is all made possible by the fact that in any given PC or server sale, it's Intel and the PC or server software provider who get damned near all of the profits, leaving very little left over for the actual PC or server maker. (Funny how Intel didn't mention this.) Hence, most PCs and an increasingly large number of servers are made in the Asia/Pacific region.

What's more, you can bet your last dollar or euro that if Intel could get the right kind of intellectual-property assurances from the Chinese government, and if the US Congress wouldn't go completely nuts, it would build more fabs in China and fold up Old Glory in perfect triangles and stuff it into a closet somewhere.

Intel says the investments in upgrades will allow it to keep its current manufacturing employee base in its wafer bakers in Arizona and Oregon, and says further that it will add somewhere between 800 and 1,000 permanent high-tech jobs once the 22nm upgrades are done. This upgrade and new construction will also create somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 construction jobs at a time when the construction industry is flat on its back thanks to the Great Recession.

Just as the Obama Administration was coming into office and the US Congress was trying to craft a stimulus package back in February 2009, Intel announced it would spend $7bn over the next two years (meaning that money is just about to run out) to upgrade facilities in Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico, where Intel had 7,000 workers at the time (a sizeable chunk of the 45,000 workforce Intel had at the time). The upgrades were to push out 32nm chips — which clearly have been a boon for Intel, seeing as how the company has posted several record quarters in 2010, driven by a recovery in PC and server spending after a serious downdraft in 2008.

Back then, the flag-waving and jobs-creating lecture came right on the heels of Intel closing down five plants worldwide. That move gave pink slips to somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 workers, including those working in wafer-fabrication facilities in Oregon and California as well as chip assembly plants in Malaysia and the Philippines. A few weeks earlier, Intel had closed its Shanghai chip packaging plant, which employed 2,000 people, and moved those jobs elsewhere in mainland China.

According to EE Times, there had been speculation that the new D1X fab in Hillsboro, Oregon, would be a production fab for 300mm or maybe even 450mm wafers, but it turns out that it is going to be for research, not production.

Intel said in its statement that the first chips to come out of the fabs using the 22nm processors will be its "Ivy Bridge" chips, which are slated for production in late 2011. The Ivy Bridge chips are kickers to the "Sandy Bridge" PC and server chips, which we told you all about here. The rumors are for the Ivy Bridge shrink of the Sandy Bridge parts to include more cores than the two or four expected with PC parts and the two to eight expected with server parts in the Sandy Bridge family. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.