Intel announces new Arizona fab during Obama visit


— 6:00 AM on February 21, 2011

After meeting with tech industry tycoons in Silicon Valley last Thursday, President Obama headed north to visit Intel's chip fab in Hillsboro, Oregon. There, Intel CEO Paul Otellini seized the opportunity to announce plans for a new, $5-billion fab located in Chandler, Arizona.

Construction on Fab 42 will kick off in the middle of the year, Intel says, and it will end some time in 2013. If I'm reading the press release right, the new fab will allow chips to be manufactured using process technologies as fine as 14 nm. Those chips will be laid out on 300-mm wafers. No wonder Intel expects Fab 42 to be the "most advanced, high-volume semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world."

The construction of Fab 42 sounds like good news for the folks in the area, too. Intel says in its announcement that the plant will generate "thousands" of jobs, both in temporary construction and in permanent chip manufacturing. Chandler is a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona that also plays host to Intel's Fab 12 and Fab 32.

Speaking of U.S. jobs, Intel adds a patriotic veneer to the move by pointing out that, right now, three quarters of its CPUs are made in the States—and the new fab will "increase the company's American manufacturing capability significantly." The remainder of Intel chips are manufactured in Ireland, Israel, and China.

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