March 26, 2007 – Following a week of rumors and leaked info, Intel has confirmed that it wants to build a new 300mm fab in northeast China, its first wafer fab in Asia and first greenfield new fab location in 15 years.
The Fab 68 operation in the coastal city of Dalian, Liaoning Province, will focus initially on chipsets to support Intel’s core microprocessor business. Construction is slated to begin later this year, with a production ramp scheduled to begin in the first half of 2010.
The facility will be Intel’s first new wafer fab in a new location in 15 years, since it laid work in 1992 for Fab 10 in Ireland. Intel says it has invested more than $1.3 billion in its China operations since opening up shop here 22 years ago. Intel has seven other 300mm fabs in the US, Ireland, and Israel.
Analysts note that Intel has spent much of the past five years mulling and planning this new China fab, and laying out plans to protect its IP. The chipmaker reportedly has received US government approval to transfer 90nm process technologies to the facility, with more leading-edge technology considerations requiring further review, noted Bloomberg.
The move is also significant for Chinese officials, who seek to boost investments in the aging industrial northeast region dubbed the “Rust Belt.” Dalian Mayor Xia Deren and Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, both stated that Intel’s investment will have a positive impact on the city’s social and economic development, as well as the region’s economic and industrial infrastructure, all of which will help to lure other investments.