Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Intel Plows $4.1 billion Into Next-Gen Chip Production

By - Source: Intel | B 47 comments

Intel is getting serious about 450 nm wafers and EUV, again.

In a rather subtle announcement, Intel said that it has invested about $4.1 billion in ASML to accelerate the development of chip production on 450 nm wafers and extreme ultra-violet (EUV) lithography. The company transitioned from 200 mm to 300 mm wafers with its 130 nm chip generation, which was launched in 2001 with the Tualatin- and Coppermine-based Pentium III processors.

In about the same time frame, the company heavily discussed the transition of the production process to costly EUV, but found ways to extend conventional lithography methods, delay the massive EUV investment - about $125 million per production tool - that was originally planned to debut with 65 nm or 45 nm processors. By 2003, Intel had dropped EUV from its roadmap.

The ASML investment is the first major sign that EUV is resurfacing. The R&D investment in ASML is about $1.0 billion: Over a period of five years, $680 million will be spent on 450 mm development and about $340 million on EUV. The remaining $3.0 billion is an equity investment that grant Intel 15 percent share in ASML. The investment makes sense, as it allows Intel to drive production innovation and keep an edge in chip production technology, which is the company's most critical asset today.

Intel did not disclose additional 450 mm and EUV plans.

Display 47 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 10, 2012 11:01 PM
    "Intel is getting serious about 450 nm wafers and EUV, again."

    Doug, I think you mean 450 mm, right?
  • 23 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 10, 2012 11:03 PM
    dragonsqrrl"Intel is getting serious about 450 nm wafers and EUV, again."Doug, I think you mean 450 mm, right?

    Either that or they are investing in 30 year old chip tech
  • 21 Hide
    CaedenV , July 10, 2012 10:40 PM
    I loved my Coppermine CPU, it was the first build I ever did on my own, and beat most pentium 4 CPUs for the next 2 years on the benchmarks (due to RAMBUS more than the inherent flaws that later choked the P4 line). It was truly the last good CPU to come out of Intel until the Core series.
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    CaedenV , July 10, 2012 10:40 PM
    I loved my Coppermine CPU, it was the first build I ever did on my own, and beat most pentium 4 CPUs for the next 2 years on the benchmarks (due to RAMBUS more than the inherent flaws that later choked the P4 line). It was truly the last good CPU to come out of Intel until the Core series.
  • 32 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 10, 2012 11:01 PM
    "Intel is getting serious about 450 nm wafers and EUV, again."

    Doug, I think you mean 450 mm, right?
  • 23 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 10, 2012 11:03 PM
    dragonsqrrl"Intel is getting serious about 450 nm wafers and EUV, again."Doug, I think you mean 450 mm, right?

    Either that or they are investing in 30 year old chip tech
  • 1 Hide
    tului , July 11, 2012 12:02 AM
    back_by_demandEither that or they are investing in 30 year old chip tech

    The day they can get more than a few transistors out of 450nm of wafer, let me know. I'm almost positive he meant mm.
  • 19 Hide
    jimmysmitty , July 11, 2012 12:04 AM
    captaincharismai guess that whole time being 2nd to AMD gave intel that killer instinct. unfortunetly for AMD they do not turn it off


    Intel has always had better process manufaturing than anyone else, even AMD. Just not the best architecture.
  • 12 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 11, 2012 12:31 AM
    jimmysmittyIntel has always had better process manufaturing than anyone else, even AMD. Just not the best architecture.


    Well, currently Intel can absorb losses and drown its R&D department with cash. It's a good thing for AMD that Intel's GPU team didn't have as much success as the CPU team.
  • 10 Hide
    thecolorblue , July 11, 2012 12:42 AM
    A Bad DayIt's a good thing for AMD that Intel's GPU team didn't have as much success as the CPU team.

    true, yet Intel has finally started getting real serious about integrated graphics. AMD needs to turn on the juice, it would be nice to see Intel facing a more serious competitor from a consumer's wallet perspective
  • 13 Hide
    zanny , July 11, 2012 12:57 AM
    thecolorbluetrue, yet Intel has finally started getting real serious about integrated graphics. AMD needs to turn on the juice, it would be nice to see Intel facing a more serious competitor from a consumer's wallet perspective


    For laptops Trinity chips are amazing. Intel is grossly overselling the entire Ivy Bridge mobile line and Trinity wipes the floor with them at a price to performance analysis. The integrated graphics being as good as they are only helps future proof them as more software takes advantage of SIMD processing.
  • 1 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 11, 2012 2:44 AM
    ZannyFor laptops Trinity chips are amazing. Intel is grossly overselling the entire Ivy Bridge mobile line and Trinity wipes the floor with them at a price to performance analysis. The integrated graphics being as good as they are only helps future proof them as more software takes advantage of SIMD processing.


    At the end though, marketing dominates.

    Popular Science hasn't mentioned AMD for a while, but did give some nice words about Intel's Sandy/Ivy Bridge and the Ultrabooks.
  • -7 Hide
    undercovernerd6 , July 11, 2012 3:00 AM
    undercovernerd6I've read every article so far on toms about mobile processors. Despite tdp you have 2 places AMD 50% less CPU 50% more gpu Intel 50% more CPU 50% less gpu its consumer choice atm until someone makes a better breakthrough

  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 11, 2012 3:03 AM
    Zanny, where did you get that info on Trinity? According to Anandtech, Trinity isn't in the stratosphere of Ivy... except in integrated graphics where it's about 15% faster. CPU speed is still about a 1/3 to 1/2 slower than Ivy.
  • 1 Hide
    Bricktop , July 11, 2012 3:04 AM
    I was wondering when the semiconductor industry would go bigger than 300mm. Bigger usually means cheaper production costs per chip. I imagine there are a lot of hurdles with it though, especially since the chips furthest from the center tend to be the ones with the most defects.

    I don't know when the last time Intel switched to a lower wavelength light source, but in 2006 Immersion Lithography was only producing "defined" lines and spaces at 22nm in the university research labs (Intel sponsored). I imagine they worked out a way to push it to 14nm since then, but I don't think another innovation as cheap and as simple as a drop of water is going to get them past 14nm.
  • -7 Hide
    captaincharisma , July 11, 2012 4:06 AM
    all Intel need's to do is get their GPU's at the same level as the GPU's put on their CPU's and that will start the final nail in AMD's coffin
  • -1 Hide
    tului , July 11, 2012 5:16 AM
    darkavenger123This news like a final sword in the coffin for AMD. Make sure they'll never get up...NEVER,

    If AMD could get some wins like Winzip 16.5 where they leverage OpenCL to speed up "everyday" tasks like unzipping and zipping files, they'd really take Intel to task. Other than video and maybe audio editing though I don't think it'd matter for other tasks.

    Maybe create a "Youtube upload accelerator" that uses OpenCL and AMD hardware to shrink files to make them take less data to send. Given mobile data caps it'd be huge.
  • 2 Hide
    Bricktop , July 11, 2012 5:18 AM
    captaincharismaall Intel need's to do is get their GPU's at the same level as the GPU's put on their CPU's and that will start the final nail in AMD's coffin


    I already posted this in a thread that it was more relevant in, but since every time Intel or AMD is talked about it starts an AMD vs Intel argument I'll post it here too.


    AMD has some time left. They are getting decent attention in the server market, and their desktop/mobile consumer market share hasn't got much smaller (though still not good) over the last few years.

    Will they be able to compete for the CPU crown again? Doubtful. They may even lose the IGP crown in 3 years (Intel's SkyLake) or less. But, because they are more affordable than Intel and because their IGP can boost the performance of AMD discrete graphics, both Microsoft and Sony are looking at AMD for APU's and graphics cards in the next-gen gaming consoles. Dominating the gaming console market would be a jab at both Intel and Nvidia. It would reestablish AMD's legitimacy in the CPU/APU market, which would be followed by better press coverage. The future of AMD really hinges on getting contracts for the next-gen gaming consoles.
  • -1 Hide
    tului , July 11, 2012 7:01 AM
    BricktopI already posted this in a thread that it was more relevant in, but since every time Intel or AMD is talked about it starts an AMD vs Intel argument I'll post it here too. AMD has some time left. They are getting decent attention in the server market, and their desktop/mobile consumer market share hasn't got much smaller (though still not good) over the last few years. Will they be able to compete for the CPU crown again? Doubtful. They may even lose the IGP crown in 3 years (Intel's SkyLake) or less. But, because they are more affordable than Intel and because their IGP can boost the performance of AMD discrete graphics, both Microsoft and Sony are looking at AMD for APU's and graphics cards in the next-gen gaming consoles. Dominating the gaming console market would be a jab at both Intel and Nvidia. It would reestablish AMD's legitimacy in the CPU/APU market, which would be followed by better press coverage. The future of AMD really hinges on getting contracts for the next-gen gaming consoles.

    Not to mention no major nations' governments will allow Intel monopoly of the traditional CPU market.
  • 0 Hide
    leakingpaint , July 11, 2012 9:33 AM
    Oh is that all! I spent that on Movies and Chips last year, big deal.
Display more comments