Intel's newest high-volume wafer fabrication facility has commenced production. Fab 24 features 300mm wafer manufacturing based on Intel's 90 nanometer process technology.
It is the company's fourth 300mm manufacturing facility, enabling it to produce about two-and-a-half times more chips per wafer and its third site to manufacture semiconductors with circuitry of 90 nanometer (90 billionths of a meter) across.
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"This new facility is the embodiment of Intel's commitment to high-volume, leading-edge manufacturing capacity," said Intel chief executive Craig Barrett. "The combination of the capital efficiencies gained from 300mm technology and the outstanding track record of our workforce makes this facility one of the best of its kind in the world."
The larger 300mm wafers aim to enable lower production costs, by reducing the costs per individual component by about 30%. The technology will use 40% less energy and water to produce each chip than previous generations.
The 90 nanometer process is designed to enable a doubling of transistor density on a given integrated chip of the same size. It is also said to be the first in the industry to use a process technology called "strained silicon" to speed up the transistors.
The strained silicon can be used to enhance performance or to lower power if additional performance is not required, according to Intel.
Written by Computing SA staff