February 27, 2007 – The same day Intel announced a $1.0-$1.5 billion investment to upgrade its 300mm site in Rio Rancho, NM, the company has sent mixed news overseas to its operations in Jerusalem, Israel — while committing to add another 50 employees to the R&D side of the operation, Intel plans to go ahead with plans to close its Fab 8 production facility here, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Intel employs around 400 people at the Jerusalem R&D center and another 300 at the production site, which was the company’s first production facility built outside of the US roughly 22 years ago. But the Jerusalem fab’s legacy products had become obsolete and phased out of the company’s strategic plans, along with a global edict to shut down the company’s 150mm technology activities.
In a meeting with Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, Intel Jerusalem CEO Yitzhak Ohayon and Yishai Frankel, the R&D center’s GM, committed to work with the municipality to bring a new production line to the facility, according to the report. Rumors that local foundry Tower Semiconductor could buy the facility had been dismissed by a Tower spokesperson, the report noted.