Intels fabulous Fab 11 opens in Rio Rancho, New Mexico
10/23/2002 - Wednesday, October 23, 2002 12:01:58 PM MDT Albuquerque, Nm   By Dustin D. Brand; Owner AMO
Designed to handle the larger 300mm silicon wafers, the new Intel Fab 11X is now operational.
Adding to their current operations at their plant in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, the new Intel Fab 11X is now operational. The new Fab, short for fabrication at the Intel plant will be used with the new 300-millimeter wafers, or the largest silicon wafers Intel has ever used in production. The area of Fab 11 contains more than 1 million square feet and over 200,000 square feet of clean room space; where the actual chips are created.
Many processor manufacturers are expanding into the 300mm wafer manufacturing. Intel, by the first half of 2004, will expand the 300mm process to other plants in Oregon and Ireland; New Mexico is the first. The new process has an area 225% larger than current 200mm wafers, and only costs a little more. The equipment isn't cheap however, and the New Mexico Fab 11X upgrade is costing Intel $2 Billion.
Intel will start Fab 11X on the current 130 nanometer process moving in early 2003 over to the newer 90 nanometer process. Intel will use the new fab to create Pentium 4 and higher class processors on each process. Starting with a larger wafer size will yield Intel higher returns or more chips per wafer.
The new Intel facility is creating several hundred new jobs.