Big News at Intel: Small

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Intel said this morning that it plans a massive expansion to the new, $3 billion fabrication plant now under construction near Portland. The entire project will likely approach $6 billion with twice the originally planned square footage.

Intel plans 2.5 million square feet of new buildings, reports the Oregonian’s Mike Rogoway. It will be anchored by a new 1.1. million-square foot research factory called D1X Mod 2. Additionally, Intel will add an office building, a manufacturing support building, and another parking garage.

Intel announced the development of D1X in October 2010 during a celebratory press conference at the company’s Ronler Acres campus in Hillsboro.

Intel said construction of the second phase will begin next year, and start production in 2015. That’s roughly the time that the chip industry hopes to move to larger, 450-millimeter silicon wafers.

The Atom chips slated to come out in 2013, code named ‘Silvermount’, will have 22nm technology, reducing power usage from 40W to 15W. The ‘Airmont’, 14nm Atom processor, is expected to be rolled out in 2014. The 15nm manufacturing process is about the size of 60 atoms.

Intel’s largest and most advanced operations are in Washington County, where the company already employs close to 17,000 — more than any other business in Oregon. In 2010, the company said it expected 6,000 to 8,000 people would work on the original phase of D1X.

Intel’s new $5 billion Arizona factory, designated Fab 42, will be a 300-mm plant. It will also be compatible for 450-mm when it’s ready. Fab 42 will process wafers at the 14-nm node-and perhaps beyond. The Arizona fab is expected to to be completed in 2013.

The 32nm Clover Trail Atom, found in Windows 8 slates like the Acer W510 and Asus Tablet 810 will get replaced next year by a 22nm quadcore Atom Bay Trail chips with the same HD 4000 graphics used by Ivy Bridge.

If OEMs can use Bay Trail to make x86 Windows tablets comparable in cost, battery life, and performance to their ARM counterparts, then full Windows 8 tablets could make iPads look like a temporary phenomena.

In 2011, Intel announced a roadmap for 2014 that includes 14 nm transistors for their Xeon, Core, and Atom processors. Intel, the world’s largest maker of chips, has outlined plans to make chips using 4nm process technology by 2022.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 at 1:35 pm .

Leave a Reply