Feeds

Explosion at Intel's 'Fab 32' Arizona chip plant

Humans hurt, robo factory keeps on fabbin'

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A small explosion injured seven people yesterday afternoon at Intel's wafer-baking factory in Chandler, Arizona.

According to various reports, the explosion took place in a part of the Chandler facility that is being upgraded to support 22 nanometer chip fabrication, which Intel will ramp up later this year using its Tri-Gate 3D transistors.

Brad Miller, battalion chief at the Chandler Fire Department, told Reuters that the explosion, which he characterized as a "small blast", took place at around 2pm local time and that fire-suppression systems using water and foam quickly smothered the resulting blaze. The explosion was initially reported by Miller as taking place inside the chip plant, but it actually occurred in a support facility for storing chemicals.

An Intel spokesman told Reuters late last night that it was not an explosion at Fab 32, as the facility is called by Intel, but rather a brief fire. This would be inconsistent with battalion chief Miller's report that one of the seven people wounded at the Chandler facility suffered from shrapnel wounds; six others had less serious injuries, but a total of four were hospitalized last night.

The Chandler plant, like other Intel facilities, is heavily automated, and the explosion in the new 22 nanometer facility at Fab 32 had no effect on chip production in other parts of the fab, even as the running factory was evacuated as a safety precaution.

Fab 32 was opened in October 2007 and was Intel's first 45 nanometer fab and was upgraded to 32 nanometer processes in 2009. The factory employs over 1,000 people and makes tens of millions of chips per year.

The Chandler factory is one of three different chip plants that Intel operates in Arizona. The Fab 12 and Fab 32 facilities in Arizona are expected to account for the bulk of Intel's 22 nanometer production later this year. It is unclear at this point what effect the explosion/fire will have on the 22 nanometer ramp, if any. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.