May 14, 2001 – Hillsboro, OR – Intel Corp. has opened what it says is the world’s first 300mm wafer research laboratory.
The $250 million facility, named RP1 (for Research and Pathfinding), is the first of its kind dedicated to research in advanced silicon process technologies on the new, larger 300mm wafers, Intel said.
Intel researchers will use RP1 to develop next-generation photolithography, high-performance transistors, advanced interconnects (copper and optical) and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes (new materials and chemistries).
“Intel’s technology teams are organized to move innovations efficiently through the stages of research, pathfinding, development and manufacturing,” said Dr. Sunlin Chou, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Technology and Manufacturing Group. “By building RP1 next to D1C, Intel now has all stages of its 300mm technology pipeline in place to drive the advancement of Moore’s Law on a larger wafer size.”
RP1 is home to Intel’s Components Research Lab, part of Intel Labs. The group develops silicon technologies that are two to three generations ahead of Intel’s current manufacturing processes. This new research facility, which has a 56,000-square-foot cleanroom, is adjacent to Intel’s D1C (a development fab) and high-volume manufacturing factory, Fab 20.
RP1 will help Intel accelerate the process of taking ideas from the research phase into manufacturing. As a research and pathfinding facility, RP1 is different from Intel’s development fabs. Pathfinding is a key crossover phase between research and development. Since RP1 supports 300mm wafers, it allows Intel engineers to share wafers between research and development.