Intel starts up 65 nm chip production facility in Arizona

Chandler (AZ) - Intel today said that it has re-opened Fab 12 in Chandler, Ariz., as the firm’s second volume production facility for 65 nm processors and the fifth location for 300 mm wafers.

The factory has been brought up to date in an 18-month long conversion process and at a cost of $2 billion - an investment that not too long ago was well enough to build a brand new production facility. Prior to the conversion, Fab 12 was opened in 2001 and produced 130 nm chips from 200 mm wafers.

Fab 12’s re-opening is the latest in a string of six Intel announcements regarding re-investment in its U.S. manufacturing sites. In total, the announcements made in 2005 reflect a combination of more than $4 billion of new US-based manufacturing expansion announced this year and completion of this $2 billion investment announced in 2004. These investments will add more than 2000 jobs, Intel said.

As part of the Chandler conversion project, Intel sent 800 Fab 12 employees to other Intel fabs, including in Ireland, Oregon and New Mexico, during the construction phase to obtain training on 300mm technology.

Intel’s first 65 nm production facility was D1D fab located in Hillsboro, Oregon. D1D houses Intel’s largest clean room with a size of about 3.5 football fields. The firm’s first 65 nm processor in production is the Pentium D 900, the successor of the Pentium D 800. According to Intel, the Pentium D 900, code-named "Presler" has been shipping for revenue since the third quarter of this year and will be available in computer systems early 2006.

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