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Intel Starts Building of New Fab in China

Indian government missed opportunity

September 8, 2007 - Today, Intel broke ground on its first 300 mm (12 inch) wafer fabrication facility in Asia. Fab 68 will be build in Dalian, China, and cost US$ 2.5 billion. The facility will be operational in 2010, and cover 163,000 square meters of factory space and host a 15,000 square meter clean room.

Update: According to ExtremeTech, the new plant will go online in 2010, where it will become Intel's eighth fab. Fab 68 will be used to manufacture chipsets in 90 nm technology, and not microprocessors.

Intel's investment in Fab 68 sets its total investment in China to close to US$ 4 billion. Intel has established two assembly and test plants in Shanghai and Chengdu, along with R&D centers and labs in Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere in China.

Update: According to DailyTech, Intel also has plans to retool its Fab 11x in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, for 300 mm wafer production. The chip manufacturer will begin its 300 mm fabrication for the 45 nm wafers in Oregon. Intel is also in the process of building two other 300 mm fab facilities in Chandler, Arizona, and Kiryat Gat, Israel, both scheduled for production in 2008.

Missed opportunity

India was an option as well, but the government didn't react adequately, Craig Barrett, Intel's chairman, said according to Moneycontrol India. The Indian government policy was not timely for us. They did not have a well documented plan when we began discussions with them. There are no complaints on issues like infrastructure against India. Between the time we initiated discussions with India and the announcement of the semiconductor policy, Intel already firmed up its plans in Vietnam and China.

Update: A report in The Financial Express from New Delhi on Tuesday (September 11) quoted an unnamed official in the Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology as saying Intel was never interested in setting up a wafer fab here. Instead, it only wanted to build an assembly, test, and packaging plant, the report said, at a cost of up to $300 million.

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