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Intel's New Factory to Make 450mm Chip Wafers

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 49 comments

Mmm, big crispy wafers.

Intel is building a new fab facility in Hillsboro, Oregon to handle 450mm wafers. According to the EETimes, the chipmaker is also going to upgrade current U.S. facilities for 22-nm production at a total investment of between $6 billion and $8 billion.

The new fab in Oregon will be known as D1X and will begin its R&D in 2013.

"Intel is very interested in 450mm… D1X is being (constructed) to be compatible with 450mm," said Intel's director of process architecture and integration, Mark Bohr, adding that equipment vendors are now interested in making 450mm tools.

Larger wafers mean that there will be a greater number of chips produced per cycle, which generally means a reduced cost on the producer that translates to lower prices for the consumer. (The same sort of principle occurs during a process shrink, where more chips can fit on a single wafer.)

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  • 6 Hide
    formin , December 12, 2010 5:25 AM
    small is sexy right. so 22nm must be unbelievably sexy. *drool
  • 4 Hide
    dEAne , December 12, 2010 5:34 AM
    22nm is very small, wonder how powerful devices at that time.
  • 1 Hide
    alidan , December 12, 2010 5:42 AM
    dEAne22nm is very small, wonder how powerful devices at that time.

    well right now we have 45nm with 8 cores, expect 22 to have around 16, or possibly more l1,2,3 cashes or current 6 core and 12 logicals to be about half price (possibly between 1/3 and 1/2)

    what i want to know is what 450mm is. is it bigger than what they are currently using
  • 4 Hide
    James296 , December 12, 2010 5:55 AM
    @alidan think of the 22nm chip as a piece of paper and the 450mm as a gaint roll (of paper), that the piece of paper comes from

    P.S. this is just a simple way of viewing it
  • 4 Hide
    agnickolov , December 12, 2010 5:58 AM
    Current production uses 300mm wafers, so yes - it's definitely bigger, 2.25 times bigger in fact (1.5 times the diameter squared)
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , December 12, 2010 5:59 AM
    James296@alidan think of the 22nm chip as a piece of paper and the 450mm as a gaint roll (of paper), that the piece of paper comes fromP.S. this is just a simple way of viewing it


    i know that, but this quote here "Intel is very interested in 450mm"
    meaning they aren't currently doing it, or atleast thats what it seams, what i want to know is if that means its bigger or smaller than whatever they currently use.
  • 3 Hide
    beans4you , December 12, 2010 6:12 AM
    ^ needs to refresh more often
  • 0 Hide
    beans4you , December 12, 2010 6:16 AM
    Why not 500mm? or 600 or a thousand? lol, 22nm!? thats crazy talk
  • 2 Hide
    Vilekon , December 12, 2010 6:29 AM
    They are using smaller wafer sizes currently, I think around 300mm is the current size of wafers.
  • 1 Hide
    x4dm , December 12, 2010 6:30 AM
    alidani know that, but this quote here "Intel is very interested in 450mm"meaning they aren't currently doing it, or atleast thats what it seams, what i want to know is if that means its bigger or smaller than whatever they currently use.

    wow, you really have no clue, do you?
  • 1 Hide
    Lutfij , December 12, 2010 7:25 AM
    mmm, seems tasty. Wafers, low cost, 22nm dieshrunk chips and cooler proc's...I'd order one now!

    AMD need to catch up!
  • 3 Hide
    reconspartan , December 12, 2010 7:34 AM
    beans4youWhy not 500mm? or 600 or a thousand? lol, 22nm!? thats crazy talk

    wafer fab isn't exactly easy broha
  • 2 Hide
    elcentral , December 12, 2010 9:33 AM
    mm still waiting for the amd bolldozer is it comming out 2011 ? cus its pr going to be my next build.
  • -1 Hide
    demonhorde665 , December 12, 2010 10:41 AM
    reconspartanwafer fab isn't exactly easy broha


    nope it isnt , i';ve often thoguht of all teh complexities in modern day luxuries that would go bye bye if our civilization were to ever end , LOL i know mnorbid to think about but shit could happen , rome didn't think it would fall either but it did. any way jsut imagine trying to figure out how to make bread starting from nothing but wheat, yeah not an easy process to visulise, since today we are at least are used to having flour to begin with it we wanted to make homade bread that assuming you have a recipe to make it from just flour, throw the compelxities of having to make flour from wheat growing in a field and that spells you arn't getting dinner tonight ! . htat's jsut talking about food start talkign about redoing computer tech (which btw has been very heavily guarded secrets broken up over multiple teams of people ) and you are lookign at never geting aworking comptuer again for a very long time. any way the point of this end of the world rants , is teh simple fact that computer tech involves many specilized fields coming together to create a single cpu , ther is metallurgy involved , electricians involved, Engineering involved,jsut to name a few , i seriously doubt any one person in any of teh involved industries could make a cpu by them selves. so yeas indeed it is not an easy task nor is it as simple as saying we are gonna press on XXX wafers.
  • 1 Hide
    razor512 , December 12, 2010 12:52 PM
    and prices will still be the same.

    How many times have the physical shrinking promised lower prices and the average price never actually lowers, but instead they tend to get more expensive?

    When they say cost savings they mean for them self and not for the customer, they will still take their massive markups.

  • 2 Hide
    frostyfireball , December 12, 2010 2:07 PM
    razor512and prices will still be the same.How many times have the physical shrinking promised lower prices and the average price never actually lowers, but instead they tend to get more expensive?When they say cost savings they mean for them self and not for the customer, they will still take their massive markups.

    For a given amount of performance, shrinking the transistors is infact lowering the prices. They are simply cramming more transistors in the same die area for more performance, then selling the chips for around the same price as the previous slower chips.
  • 1 Hide
    r_pad , December 12, 2010 3:11 PM
    OMG cant wait. This might be what blows AMD out of the water.
  • 2 Hide
    jimmysmitty , December 12, 2010 3:24 PM
    elcentralmm still waiting for the amd bolldozer is it comming out 2011 ? cus its pr going to be my next build.


    From what we know its just 2011. No time period. For all we know Bulldozer could come out right when Intels Ivy Bridge does (their 22nm chips) which wont bode well for AMD.

    r_padOMG cant wait. This might be what blows AMD out of the water.


    Well AMD doesn't need to catch up. Its Global Foundries that does.

    But Intel is always the leader in process manufacturing and I doubt any one company will ever beat Intel. It would probably take the most of the rest of the semiconductor world to beat intel in process technology.
  • 3 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , December 12, 2010 5:20 PM
    __-_-_-__larger wafers also increase the chip defects A LOT, decreasing efficiency and cost. that's why wafers size is so important. not too small not too large...


    That may be true at the very beginning of a new generation, but defect densities quickly gain parity with the smaller wafer size.
  • 1 Hide
    bison88 , December 12, 2010 5:32 PM
    Isn't one of the other reasons unmentioned for moving to 450mm wafers is because the increasingly high fail rate as they've shrunk chips hence lower count of chips per 300mm wafer?
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