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Intel shutters BRAND NEW chip factory as PC market storm rages

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Intel is going to leave a massive new multibillion-dollar chip factory empty in Arizona as the slump in the PC market continues.

Intel told local paper the Arizona Republic that the factory known as Fab 42 would remain closed for the foreseeable future, but it would be used at some point.

“It will be used for future technologies at a future date,” spokesman Chuck Mulloy said, without elaborating on what use Intel has in mind for the plant.

The chipmaker has already received around $3.3m in tax credits from the state for job creation for at the factory, which was supposed to bring in a thousand jobs. But Mulloy said those jobs had been created, with employees working elsewhere on the Ocotillo Campus instead of the new factory.

“It doesn’t matter which building they work in; we’ve already increased the workforce by more than 1,000 people at that work site,” he said.

Fab 42 was a massive project for Intel, built using the world's largest land-based crane and touted by US President Barack Obama as a beacon of domestic manufacturing when he visited the site two years ago.

But Intel is likely to have full capacity with its existing semi-conductor fabs in Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, Ireland and Israel, as beancounters continue to spell out doom and gloom in the PC market, where Chipzilla makes most of its revenue. Gartner's latest figures showed a ten per cent drop in PC shipments in 2013. ®

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