Intel opens two cutting-edge chip factories in Arizona

What happened now? Intel has begun construction of two advanced chip factories in Arizona, which will help the company increase manufacturing capacity and improve the resilience of its global supply chain. The move comes amid a race to expand chip manufacturing capabilities and is motivated by the company’s desire to re-establish a leadership position in manufacturing processes and packaging technology.

Intel earlier today broke the ground at two chip factories in Arizona that are expected to be fully operational in 2024. The two manufacturing plants, named Fab 52 and Fab 62, will be built adjacent to the four existing plants on the Ocotillo campus in Chandler, Arizona.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger met with government officials at a ceremony to celebrate what he says is the largest private investment in Arizona’s history. The $ 20 billion project will expand the company’s manufacturing capacity and house state-of-the-art EUV production lines to produce the world’s most advanced chips.

Gelsinger believes this will help Intel regain its “undisputed leadership in manufacturing and packaging technology” by 2025 and create thousands of new jobs. This includes 3,000 high-tech, high-paying jobs, 3,000 construction jobs and 15,000 additional indirect jobs in the region.

The new chip factories are part of Intel’s revamped IDM 2.0 strategy, under which the newly formed Intel Foundry Services (IFS) will take over contract manufacturing for other companies for the first time in the company’s history.

At the same time, the company says it is contributing to restoring U.S. leadership in semiconductors and developing a more balanced global supply chain for advanced microcircuits. To this end, IFS President Randhir Thakur called Biden’s administration to consider increasing funding for domestic semiconductor production in excess of the $ 52 billion currently allocated in this direction.

Team Blue’s new effort gives a great start. Back in July, Intel Foundry Services introduced its first two major customers, Qualcomm and Amazon. He also signed a contract with the Pentagon last month for the first phase of the Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes – Commercial (RAMP-C) program to build systems with American-made chips.

Upon commissioning, the two new factories in Arizona will manufacture Intel 20A chips, the first of which will use their version of the “RibbonFET” Gate-All-Around (GAA) transistors and PowerVia interconnects. Gelsinger did not say how much of the new capacity would be reserved for Intel Foundry Services customers as it is too early to make an accurate estimate. However, he said the two factories would have a combined production capacity of “thousands” of wafers per week.

And this is just the beginning. Earlier this year, Intel announced plans to spend between $ 60 billion and $ 120 billion to build a new mega-factory in the US to be more competitive with TSMC and Samsung. Intel will also provide $ 95 billion for the construction of two chip factories in Europe. The company is currently in talks with several officials to receive subsidies from the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund.

Gelsinger says the company will announce new locations in the coming months.

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