APRIL 25--Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, CA;www.intel.com) has announced that it will resume construction on Fab 24 in Leixlip, County Kildare, Ireland. The $2 billion manufacturing facility will produce advanced semiconductor components on 300-mm wafers and initially use 90-nm process technology.
The new fab will contain 160,000 square feet of cleanroom with slightly more than 1 million square feet of space for the total facility. Operations are expected to begin in the first half of 2004. When the new facility is complete the company will have four 300-mm wafer fabrication facilities in operation.
"To provide customers with the benefits of leading-edge products, we must continue to invest in the newest technologies and capacity," said Bob Baker, vice president and general manager of the Intel Technology and Manufacturing Group. "As computing and communications devices converge, the need for higher-performance components will grow. This facility will help us meet that growing demand."
Manufacturing with 300-mm wafers (about 12 inches in diameter) increases production of computer chips at lower cost compared with the current standard 200-mm (eight-inch) wafers. The total silicon surface area of a 300-mm wafer is 225% (or more than twice) that of a 200-mm wafer, and the ratio of printed die (individual computer chips) is increased to 240%. The bigger wafers lower the production cost per chip while diminishing overall use of resources.
The new fab will also incorporate Intel's recently disclosed 90-nm process technology. In March, the company announced that its researchers had built the world's smallest SRAM memory cell using this new technology.
Construction on Fab 24 was originally begun in June 2000 but was halted during last year's worldwide economic downturn.