February 7, 2019 // 5 p.m.
Intel has confirmed reports that it is expanding its D1X fab in Hillsboro, Oregon, for the second time as it continues to battle to meet demand for its entry-level and high-volume processor parts.
Just before Intel announced that it was to spend $11 billion upgrading its fab in Kiryat Gat, Israel, reports circulated that the company was looking to launch a third phase of its D1X fab in Oregon as well - part of a planned trio of expansions and upgrades the company had previously teased would include Ireland before the end of 2019. When the Kiryat Gat deal was announced but nothing was said about Oregon, it looked like the plan may have been shelved - but local outlet The Oregonian, which was the first to report on the rumoured expansion, has confirmed that it is indeed going ahead.
Details of the upgrade are scarce, but the paper claims that construction will begin in the first half of the year and is likely to equal the company's previous two phases at the same facility - which would mean adding another 1.1 million square feet to the facility. It has, however, given itself an out: The company has stated that it will only go ahead with the expansion 'contingent on unspecified business and economic factors'.
That Intel needs more fabrication space is no secret: The company has been struggling to meet demand, concentrating on its higher-end parts to the cost of lower-end higher-volume chips - which has provided an opportunity for rival AMD to swoop in with its entry-level CPU and APU parts.