Mega cleanroom for new Intel fab


CHANDLER, Ariz. - Contamination-control challenges may reach unprecedented levels with Intel Corp.’s ( massive, one-million-square-foot 300 mm fab now under construction in Arizona. Included in the complex will be 184,000 square feet of cleanroom space-about the size of four football fields.

The new factory, Fab 32, is expected to begin production of next-gen microprocessors, on 45 nm process technology, for computers and other electronics devices by 2007.

Intel Corp. will construct 184,000 square feet of cleanroom space, devoted to the manufacture of nearly 12-inch, 300 mm wafers, in its new Arizona fab.
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Citing confidentiality, Intel has declined to unveil specifics on the cleanroom’s layout and construction. But Bob Baker, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s technology and manufacturing group, calls the construction project “the modern-day equivalent of building the pyramids, but we have to build it in 18 to 24 months and we have to be on budget.”

Intel pojects it will spend nearly $3 billion for the new facility-its sixth 300 mm fab worldwide.

While 300 mm (about 12 inches in diameter) wafer manufacturing significantly increases the ability to produce semiconductors at lower cost and with less energy and water per chip than with 200 mm processes, it is not without its contamination-control challenges.