Via e-newsletter ref. USA Today, March 29, 2011:
Intel's new $5 billion plant in Arizona has
, USA TODAY Posted 10h 9m ago
CHANDLER, Ariz. — Few people get to step inside a fabrication laboratory, yet here I am in Fab 32 —
clad in a bunny suit, looking like an astronaut — shuffling through
’s $3.5 billion chipmaking facility
in the desert.
Employees don "bunny suits" at the beginning of
their shift in a "clean-room" environment at Intel's Fab 32 facility in Chandler, Ariz.
It’s an impressive facility, with multimillion-dollar machines book-ended, side by side, in a glitzy
assembly line to convert silicon wafers into microprocessors. Devices with names such as Ion Implanter
and Lithography bake, etch, layer and smooth wafers so they can be used in everything from PCs to tablet
devices to smartphones.
But as impressive as Fab 32 may be, it’s the warm-up act for Fab 42, a new $5 billion chip-manufacturing
plant about to go up next door. When finished in 2013, it will be the most advanced high-volume
semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world, according to Intel.
Fab 42 is the crown jewel of the most ambitious construction push in a decade for the world’s No. 1
chipmaker. In the next few years, it will pour more than $10 billion into constructing the 1 million-
square-foot Fab 42, another manufacturing plant in Hillsboro, Ore., and upgrades to facilities in
“The big part of my job is when to decide to build a new lab,” says Brian Krzanich, Intel’s head of
manufacturing. “It’s a very large, complex construction process. Think of making one of the world’s
largest nuclear reactors. And I have not missed one deadline yet.”
The heat is on, though not in the climate-controlled Fab 32, which is maintained at 72 degrees. Intel, like
other computer parts makers, is recalibrating a chunk of operations to capitalize on growth in tablet and
smartphone markets. Meanwhile, it’s leading tech efforts in creating jobs in the U.S. and advances in the