Intel expands its 300mm facilities and prepares for the move to 45nm

Several weeks ago, DailyTech reported thin details about Intel's plan to open a new fabrication facility in China. Intel has not launched a new fabrication facility in a brand new area in 15 years. The new fab marks a major milestone for Intel as it moves forward into developing 65nm products and reaching 45nm later on.

Today Intel officially announced that its newest China facility will be called Fab 68. Located in the northeast region of China in the province of Liaoning, Fab 68 will be a full 300mm wafer facility. Intel also indicated Fab 68 will be its first 300mm in China and expects the investment to yield the possibility of further facilities down the road in the region.

"We welcome Intel and other multinational companies to invest and cooperate with China," said Zhang Xiaoqing, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

When Fab 68 is operational, it will be Intel's eighth 300mm wafer manufacturing plant around the world. Intel currently has a number of fabs located in the U.S., Ireland and Israel. Intel stated however that it believes China will play a significant role down a few years from now, both for consumers and manufacturers.  The facility will begin its first production wafers in 2010.

"China is our fastest-growing major market and we believe it's critical that we invest in markets that will provide for future growth to better serve our customers," said CEO Paul Otellini.

At the same time as the erection of Fab 68, Intel announced earlier this year that it would be closing a number of its facilities in Israel that focus on NOR flash memory products. Intel expects it will spend a total of $2.5 billion USD to fully construct and get Fab 68 to its full capacity.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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