Intel invests $8 billion in new chip factories

Intel ramps up 22-nanometer chip production
Intel ramps up 22-nanometer chip production

Intel is investing a cool $8 billion (a shade over £5 billion) in new chip manufacturing plants in the US, with the focus on developing increasingly small 22-nanometer chips.

Intel's latest investment will see upgrades to its factories in Arizona and Oregon, in addition to an entirely new fabrication plant in Oregon.

Continued advancement of Moore's Law

Intel hopes to generate around 8,000 construction jobs and between 800 and 1,000 permanent manufacturing jobs at the new and upgraded factories.

"Today's announcement reflects the next tranche of the continued advancement of Moore's Law and a further commitment to invest in the future of Intel and America," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini.

"The most immediate impact of our multi-billion-dollar investment will be the thousands of jobs associated with building a new fab and upgrading four others, and the high-wage, high-tech manufacturing jobs that follow."

Worldwide manufacturing network

Santa Clara-based Intel already has manufacturing facilities at three sites in the US, including New Mexico, in addition to plants in Ireland and Israel. The company is also currently building its first production facility in China.

Intel's focus is on the development of 22 nanometer production (that's 22 billionths of a meter).

"Intel makes approximately 10 billion transistors per second. Our factories produce the most advanced computer technology in the world and these investments will create capacity for innovation we haven't yet imagined," said Brian Krzanich, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Manufacturing and Supply Chain.

"Intel and the world of technology lie at the heart of this future. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we can retain a vibrant manufacturing economy here in the United States by focusing on the industries of the future."

Intel's microprocessors currently power over 80 per cent of the world's PCs.

Intel recently spent $7.68 billion buying up security specialists McAfee Inc. and $1.4 billion purchasing Infineon Technologies AG's wireless-chip unit.

Adam Hartley