Fab times at Intel

Intel Corporation has announced plans to invest $650 million in the company’s 300mm wafer fabrication facilities in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.


Intel Corporation has announced plans to invest $650 million in the company’s manufacturing site in New Mexico. The investment will be used to increase the capacity of the 300mm wafer fabrication facilities in Rio Rancho, N.M., called Fab 11X.



Construction and new tool installations are scheduled to continue through 2006, with production operations set to begin through the new expansion in early 2007. This investment in New Mexico will result in the creation of more than 300 new manufacturing jobs.



This investment is part of Intel’s strategic goal to increase manufacturing on 300mm wafers that use 90nm, 65nm and future process technologies. Intel has several fabs manufacturing with 300mm wafers today. These facilities are Fab 11X in New Mexico, D1D and D1C in Oregon and Fab 24 in Ireland.



Intel say that manufacturing with 300mm wafers (about 12 inches in diameter) increases the ability to produce semiconductors at a lower cost compared with more widely used 200mm (eight-inch) wafers. The total silicon surface area of a 300mm wafer is 225 percent, or more than twice that of a 200mm wafer, and the number of printed die (individual computer chips) is increased to 240 percent. The bigger wafers lower the production cost per chip while diminishing overall use of resources.



“With each subsequent technology process, Intel improves its designs to further reduce impacts to the environment,” said Tim Hendry, Intel Technology and Manufacturing vice president and Fab 11X factory manager. “Manufacturing with 300mm wafers uses 40 percent less energy and water per chip.”