Intel announces $7B investment in next-gen semiconductor fab in Arizona

Intel Corporation yesterday announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42, a project Intel had previously started and then left vacant. The high-volume factory is in Chandler, Ariz., and is targeted to use the 7 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process. The announcement was made by U.S. President Donald Trump and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at the White House.

Intel Corporation on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2017, announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42. On completion, Fab 42 in Chandler, Ariz., is expected to be the most advanced semiconductor factory in the world. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Intel Corporation on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2017, announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42. On completion, Fab 42 in Chandler, Ariz., is expected to be the most advanced semiconductor factory in the world. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

According to Intel’s official press release, the completion of Fab 42 in 3 to 4 years will directly create approximately 3,000 high-tech, high-wage Intel jobs for process engineers, equipment technicians, and facilities-support engineers and technicians who will work at the site. Combined with the indirect impact on businesses that will help support the factory’s operations, Fab 42 is expected to create more than 10,000 total long-term jobs in Arizona.

Mr. Trump said of the announcement: “The people of Arizona will be very happy. It’s a lot of jobs.”

There will be no incentives from the federal government for the Intel project, the White House said.

Context for the investment was outlined in an e-mail from Intel’s CEO to employees.

“Intel’s business continues to grow and investment in manufacturing capacity and R&D ensures that the pace of Moore’s law continues to march on, fueling technology innovations the world loves and depends on,” said Krzanich. “This factory will help the U.S. maintain its position as the global leader in the semiconductor industry.”

“Intel is a global manufacturing and technology company, yet we think of ourselves as a leading American innovation enterprise,” Krzanich added. “America has a unique combination of talent, a vibrant business environment and access to global markets, which has enabled U.S. companies like Intel to foster economic growth and innovation. Our factories support jobs — high-wage, high-tech manufacturing jobs that are the economic engines of the states where they are located.”

Intel is America’s largest high-technology capital expenditure investor ($5.1 billion in the U.S. 2015) and its third largest investor in global R&D ($12.1 billion in 20151). The majority of Intel’s manufacturing and R&D is in the United States. As a result, Intel employs more than 50,000 people in the United States, while directly supporting almost half a million other U.S. jobs across a range of industries, including semiconductor tooling, software, logistics, channels, OEMs and other manufacturers that incorporate our products into theirs.

The 7nm semiconductor manufacturing process targeted for Fab 42 will be the most advanced semiconductor process technology used in the world and represents the future of Moore’s Law. In 1968, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore predicted that computing power will become significantly more capable and yet cost less year after year.

The chips made on the 7nm process will power the most sophisticated computers, data centers, sensors and other high-tech devices, and enable things like artificial intelligence, more advanced cars and transportation services, breakthroughs in medical research and treatment, and more. These are areas that depend upon having the highest amount of computing power, access to the fastest networks, the most data storage, the smallest chip sizes, and other benefits that come from advancing Moore’s Law.

After the announcement, President Trump tweeted his thanks to Krzanich, calling the factory a great investment in jobs and innovation. In his email to employees, Krzanich said that he had chosen to announce the expansion at the White House to “level the global playing field and make U.S. manufacturing competitive worldwide through new regulatory standards and investment policies.”

“When we disagree, we don’t walk away,” he wrote. “We believe that we must be part of the conversation to voice our views on key issues such as immigration, H1B visas and other policies that are essential to innovation.”

During Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, Krzanich had reportedly planned a Trump fundraiser event and then cancelled following numerous controversial statements from Trump regarding his proposed immigration policies. Intel has continued to be critical of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, joining over 100 other companies to file a legal brief challenging President Trump’s January 27 executive order which blocked entry of all refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Recently, Krzanich took to Twitter to criticize the order, voicing the company’s support of lawful immigration.

In 2012, Paul Otellini, then Intel’s CEO, made a similar promise about Fab 42 in the company of Obama, during a visit to Hillsboro, Oregon.

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2 thoughts on “Intel announces $7B investment in next-gen semiconductor fab in Arizona

  1. Rene Kunz

    When is Intel, as other US Semiconductor industry leaders also bringing back assembly besides FABs back onshore? With today’s technology and automation, labor cost ought to be no issue any longer! Highly skilled Jobs can revive the US economy again, certainly not hamburger flipping and coca cola selling jobs.

    Reply
  2. Sang Kim

    Sang Kim
    Intel’s 14nm FinFET is in volume manufacturing over 3 years now but 10nm FinFET can not be manufactured by Intel and others yet. Why not? First, the biggest issue with 10nm as well 7nm is the hot carrier reliability. This is because the LDD(Lightly Doped Drain) that is used in 28nm bulk to minimize the hot carrier generation can’t be implemented at such short 10nm FinFET. Other critical issue is the leakage current due to the short channel effects, thus the end of 10nm FinFET.

    For planer devices when hot carriers are generated at the drain, electrons go to the drain with no harm but where the holes to go? The holes go to the substrate. Suppose the holes go to the source instead. Then the device fails. These phenomena can occur at the 10nm FinFET that is built on the oxide on silicon but not on silicon with no oxide layer. That is why the 10nm FinFET is not manufactured by Intel and others yet.

    Recently, 7nm FinFET is built on the oxide layer instead of Si substrate. When the gate and drain voltages are applied or the device is on, electrons are accelerated from the source to the drain, and generate electron and hole pairs as a result of impact ionization at the drain. The electrons go to the drain with no harm but where the holes to go? The holes can’t go to the bottom Si substrate because of the oxide layer below. The only place for the holes to go is to the source, triggering DIBL(Drain-field Induced Barrier Lowering) at the source, resulting in device failure. That is why the 10nm FinFET is not manufacture-able.

    Reply

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