Intel opens new 300-mm fab

Intel has opened the doors of its new 300-mm wafer 11X fab in Rio Rancho, N.M. The facility is Intel's first high-volume 300-mm facility, and cost a whopping $2-billion to create.

Recently, Intel has scaled its Pentium 4 processor with an impressive string of new product releases, complete with volume availability of the fastest processors, which is a testament to the company's dedication to fabrication technology.

"This expansion is the embodiment of our long-held belief that especially in the face of challenging economic times we must continue to invest in new products and manufacturing," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and chief operating officer, in a statement.
The 11X fab will start off with production of 0.13-micron parts, but will transition to 0.09-micron production sometime next year. Intel also has numerous other manufacturing facilities planned, with the next 300-mm facility ramping up production in the second half of next year.

Intel's answer to 64-bit desktop processors from AMD and IBM may indeed be 0.09-micron Pentium 4 variants running extremely high clock speeds. If that's the case, Intel will need every bit of its fabrication prowess to prosper in what's shaping up to be a more competitive processor market.

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