Intel announces plan to bring Arizona's Fab 42 online

February 9, 2017 // 9:57 a.m.

Tags: #arizona #barack-obama #brian-krzanich #chandler #donald-trump #fab #fab-42 #fabrication #facility #factory #intel #semiconductor

Intel has confirmed that it is bringing Arizona-based Fab 42 out of mothballs, more than doubling its investment in the facility in order to prepare it for production of semiconductors on a 7nm process node.

Intel's Fab 42 facility in Chandler, Arizona, began life as a $5 billion investment in 2011 and was singled out by at-the-time President Barack Obama in his 2012 State of the Union Address as a positive for the region and the US technology economy as a whole. Unfortunately, things didn't go according to plan: A 2013 opening date came and went, and in January 2014 Intel announced that it was mothballing the facility which was complete with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems but which had not yet received fabrication equipment for the 14nm node it had been planned to produce.

As the 14nm node was gradually replaced with a 10nm node, Intel continued its fabrication facility investments - including a $6 billion upgrade to its Fab 28 facility in Israel - but left Fab 42 cold and empty - until now.

With 14nm yesterday's news, Intel's Brian Krzanich has announced that the facility is to be tooled for 7nm production courtesy of a whopping $7 billion investment slated to create 3,000 direct jobs and a further 7,000 supporting jobs in the region. More interesting than the announcement itself, though, is in the co-branding behind it: At a time when technology companies, including Intel itself, are railing against travel restrictions on foreign workers, Krzanich chose to make the announcement alongside President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House.

'At Intel we meet with governments from around the world, discussing and debating issues and policies important to our business, employees and shareholders. When we disagree, we don’t walk away,' Krzanich explained of his decision to include President Trump in the announcement. 'We believe that we must be part of the conversation to voice our views on key issues such as immigration, H1B visas and other policies that are essential to innovation.'

Possibly learning from its previous Fab 42 announcement, Intel has not announced a firm opening date for the facility beyond a commitment to completion 'in 3 to 4 years' - suggesting that the company is aiming to launch 7nm parts in around five years' time.
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