Intel opens third 65 nm fab, confirms 45 nm on track

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Intel opens third 65 nm fab, confirms 45 nm on track

Leixlip (Ireland) – Intel expands the production capability of 65 nm and future 45 nm processors with the official opening of its third 65 nm facility. Leixlip, Ireland joins the Chandler, AZ, and Hillsboro, OR, factories to protect one of Intel’s most valuable assets – the firms lead in chip production techniques and capacity.

Fab 24-2 in Leixlip has begun production on 300 mm wafers and a 65 nm manufacturing process about three months ago and since then has contributed to Intel’s capability to produce more 65 nm than 90 nm processors. Intel claims that the $2 billion factory has the “potential” to “generate the world’s highest microprocessor output at the lowest cost.”

The two other 65 nm facilities are “D1D” in Oregon, which also serves as research and development fab as well as Fab 12 which recently was retrofitted for 65 nm production.

As its two sister factories, 24-2 will soon be building all of Intel’s 65 nm processors, but will soon be focusing on producing processors based on Intel’s “Core” micro architecture. Core will be launched on 26 June with the introduction of the Xeon 5100 (Woodcrest core), followed by the Core 2 Duo E (desktop) series on 23 July and the Core 2 Duo T (notebook) series in August or September.

Construction of Intel’s 45 nm fab in Chandler, AZ

Intel also confirmed that it is on track moving from 65 nm processors to 45 nm chips by the end of 2007. The company typically transitions to a new production process every 24 months. Production for such processors is currently developed in the D1D fab in Oregon, where Intel scientists are also researching 32 nm production techniques for 2009. Manufacturing facilities for 45 nm chips will include Fab 32, which is currently built in Chandler, Arizona as well as Fab 28, which is constructed in Kiryat Gat, Israel.