February 27, 2007 – Intel Corp. says it will spend $1.0-$1.5 billion to retool its 300mm Fab 11X facility in Rio Rancho, NM, to convert to production for chips using 45nm process technologies, making it the company’s fourth factory to produce the 45nm chips by 2H08. Fab 11X, which currently encompasses 90nm/300mm production, was Intel’s first high-volume factory to produce 300mm wafers, starting in October 2002.
Weeks ago Intel disclosed its recent results using a hafnium-based high-k dielectric material and a new combination of metals for the transistor gate electrode. The first 45nm devices, code-named “Penryn,” are scheduled to start production ramp at the company’s D1D fab in Oregon in 2H07, followed “a few weeks” later by Fab 32 in Arizona, and ramped sometime in 1H08 at Intel’s under-construction Fab 28 in Israel.
This marks Intel’s second recent infusion at Rio Rancho — late 2005, Intel announced it would invest $650 million to boost capacity there, with construction and tool installations occurring through 2006 and expanded operations launching sometime in early 2007.
“Our Rio Rancho site has successfully operated in New Mexico for 27 years. Based on that success, we are pleased to position Fab 11X for Intel’s next generation of technology,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president/CEO, in a statement.
In late January Intel held demonstrations of its Penryn chips built with the 45nm process, noting the very first 45nm wafers that came out of the fab, assembled and packaged, were able to boot OS and run code “within two or three hours.” Five systems (a notebook with dual-core processor, dual- and quad-core desktops, and dual- and quad-core server systems) are expected to start shipping in 2H07.