updated 01:35 pm EDT, Thu October 25, 2007
Intel Opens 2nd 45nm Fab
Semiconductor firm Intel on Thursday opened up its second factory capable of manufacturing processors on a 45-nanometer process. The plant, known formally as Fab 32, is located in Chandler, Arizona and will be capable of manufacturing wafers as large as 300mm, allowing large batches of processors to be manufactured at a time and cutting the overall costs for both Intel and end users buying systems. Two more manufacturing facilities are also in construction in Israel and New Mexico and will increase capacity even further when they come online in 2008.
Adding Fab 32 will allow true mass production of the upcoming Penryn platform of desktop and mobile processors, Intel says. The company had previously manufactured chips only at its development facility in Oregon, which can generate only a small amount of finished silicon and is primarily used for researching and testing new designs.
The announcement comes roughly three weeks before Intel is slated to introduce finished versions of Penryn, which uses both the smaller 45nm size and new materials to increase performance without increasing the power consumption and heat versus today's 65nm Core 2 and Xeon processors. Intel has not officially confirmed which processors will be introduced but is believed to be readying a 3+ GHz quad-core Xeon and a potential 3GHz Core 2 Extreme quad-core that will enter limited availability on November 12th.