Intel opens new 65nm chip plant in Ireland


Intel opens new 65nm chip plant in Ireland

Antony Savvas

Intel has opened a high-volume semiconductor manufacturing facility in Leixlip, Ireland, as it gears up to serve its new faster Core processor line of chips.


The new factory is Intel’s third chip factory using advanced 65nm process technology, and is the industry’s first chip factory in Europe producing 65nm chips in high volume.


Intel said the $2bn (£1.14bn) factory has begun high-volume production using 65nm process technology produced on the industry’s largest wafer size (300mm).


This provides the Intel fab with the potential to generate the world’s highest microprocessor output at the lowest cost, said the company.


Along with Intel’s Fab 12 in Arizona and D1D fab in Oregon , the new facility (called Fab 24-2) will be used to build multi-core microprocessors.


Intel also says it’s on schedule for introducing chips made with the 45-nanometer process, which could lead to cheaper and better performing processing solutions in 2007.


Intel said it had already created test chips using the 45-nanometer process, and it expects to start shipping commercial processor and flash solutions in the second-half of next year.


A 45-nanometer process will allow the company to get more transistors on a single processor by reducing the distance between transistors.


The shrinking process and the loading of many more transistors on a chip to boost processing speeds meets the requirements of the industry’s Moore’s Law and reduces production costs.


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