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Intel opens US$2 billion manufacturing facility

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Intel Corporation today announced the opening of a US$2-billion dollar expansion to its manufacturing facility in New Mexico.

Named Fab 11X, the new expansion is claimed to feature the semiconductor industry's most advanced manufacturing technologies, producing microprocessors on 300-mm wafers using Intel's 0.13-micron process technology.

The facility will transition to 90-nanometer process technology in 2003. Fab 11X is more than 1 million square feet in size with 200,000 square feet of clean room space.

"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. "As computing and communications devices converge, the need for increasingly complex components with more capabilities will grow.

“This facility will help us meet that growing demand. The combination of the 300-mm wafers and 90-nanometer process technology will also reduce the costs of manufacturing, increase productivity and improve the availability of the world's most advanced semiconductor products."

Manufacturing with 300mm wafers increases the production of computer chips at lower costs compared with the current standard 200mm wafers. The total silicon surface area of a 300-mm wafer is 225 percent, or more than twice, that of a 200-mm wafer, and the ratio of the printed die (individual computer chips) is increased to 240 percent.

The new manufacturing technology enabled by the 300mm technology is also claimed to provide significant benefits from an environmental perspective. The chips manufactured in Fab11X will require less water and generate fewer emissions per chip than other fabs.

Water and chemical use will be more efficient. When compared to a 200-mm facility Fab 11X will produce 48 percent less volatile organic compound emissions, use 42 percent less ultra pure water and will use approximately 40 percent less energy.

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