Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

A First Look at Intel's 14nm Fab 42 Manufacturing Facility

By - Source: VLSI Research | B 64 comments

Intel is adding a new gem to its network of manufacturing facilities.

Construction of Fab 42, the company's first volume 14 nm factory, has begun in Chandler, Arizona and has been documented in an article in the Financial Times and a slideshow published by analysts at VLSI Research. The massive new fab will be Intel's first factory to exceed a construction cost of $5 billion and somewhat follows the concept of the praised D1X development Fab in Hillsboro, Oregon. Fab 42 will also use the "copy exactly" approach, in which the company aims to recreate the conditions of the D1X development fab in a volume production facility in extreme detail, including interior temperature and air quality, to achieve the production yields delivered by D1X.

What makes Fab 42 special is that it is a modular fab like D1X (which is separated in a manufacturing, development and research portions).However, Fab 42 is more advanced and substantially larger than D1X. The new plant is also the first volume production facility that is compatible with 450 mm wafers, which offer a substantial economic advantage over the current 300 mm generation that Intel launched with its 130 nm processor generation in 2001.

Fab 42 is due to go online sometime next year.

Display 64 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 37 Hide
    eklerus , January 25, 2012 10:01 AM
    omg Intel look at the cpu die size in the 3rd picture it's to big for me ^^
  • 27 Hide
    dontknownotsure , January 25, 2012 11:00 AM
    eklerusomg Intel look at the cpu die size in the 3rd picture it's to big for me ^^


    its next step, 30m process
  • 26 Hide
    rpmrush , January 25, 2012 9:51 AM
    And this is why intel will be a top dog in the mobile sector in a couple of years. 5 Billion+ for the plant! They are not afraid to invest heavily. Intel is a BEAST!
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    rpmrush , January 25, 2012 9:51 AM
    And this is why intel will be a top dog in the mobile sector in a couple of years. 5 Billion+ for the plant! They are not afraid to invest heavily. Intel is a BEAST!
  • 11 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , January 25, 2012 9:59 AM
    Intel is taking on these guys:

    hot electron effect
    impact ionization
    velocity saturation
    drain induced barrier lowering
    surface scattering
    punchthrough
    sub-threshold conduction
  • 37 Hide
    eklerus , January 25, 2012 10:01 AM
    omg Intel look at the cpu die size in the 3rd picture it's to big for me ^^
  • 15 Hide
    egidem , January 25, 2012 10:30 AM
    And this is precisely why anyone [competition] that continues to doubt or underestimate Intel's prowess is a fool. Something to take from all this is that Intel is not afraid to heavily invest or spend large amounts of money on R&D. If they need to invade the mobile market sector and need to spend $5B on building their facility to make those 14nm processors, then so be it!

    I'm curious to see what this situation between Intel and ARM will be like in say 5 years from now. Something tells me that history will repeat itself but this time Intel will be owning ARM.
  • 2 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , January 25, 2012 10:44 AM
    I didn't know Intel had plants in the US. Starting to make me consider them more. Come on AMD, pull out a big win this year.
  • 27 Hide
    dontknownotsure , January 25, 2012 11:00 AM
    eklerusomg Intel look at the cpu die size in the 3rd picture it's to big for me ^^


    its next step, 30m process
  • 0 Hide
    nikorr , January 25, 2012 11:11 AM
    Can't wait.
  • -5 Hide
    ojas , January 25, 2012 11:22 AM
    I wonder, does this mean that haswell will have a mid 2013 launch?

    Sandy B -> Jan 2011
    Ivy B -> April 2012
    Haswell -> July 2013 ???
  • 10 Hide
    digiex , January 25, 2012 12:04 PM
    Quote:
    2) Retire the x86 and create a new architecture


    Did you ever met Itanium?
  • 5 Hide
    serendipiti , January 25, 2012 12:04 PM
    neoverdugoThe only 2 things intel needs to do are:1) Drop its price tag2) Retire the x86 and create a new architectureAnything else?


    Sadly, final prices for intel products depend on AMD and ARM...

    Dropping X86 which could be the real differentiating feature against ARM devices it's a little difficult too.
    But probably MS, Linux and open source and cloud / web applications may help.

    Anyway, I think it is too soon for that change. The instruction extensions model it is still valid, and it will make more sense doing that rebuild from scratch for the whole architecture the next nodes... (perhaps when 14nm will be mainstream...) Then it will make sense, because you probably will get SoC with GPUs, DisplayPort Bandwidth (PCIe or whatever) ports (to feed SSDs, 10Gb ethernet,...) and keep in mind SATA3 will be deprecated, and useless: USB for external "slow" storage and Display Port "like" (Universal Port, then?) devices for speed. Anything in between will render useless.

    The evolution of GPUs (and its integration in a SoC) will also help to start making sense a new architecture.

    At the same time, this years of multicore processing will start to show off on the software side.

    Perhaps then it will make sense (and will pay its benefits...)



  • 2 Hide
    eddieroolz , January 25, 2012 12:10 PM
    Does Intel build a new fab for every process node? It certainly seems that way from my impressions.
  • 14 Hide
    rpgplayer , January 25, 2012 12:15 PM
    eklerusomg Intel look at the cpu die size in the 3rd picture it's to big for me ^^

    dontknownotsureits next step, 30m process

    It'll still put out half the heat of one Fermi chip....
  • -1 Hide
    maxinexus , January 25, 2012 12:29 PM
    When we turn to dust, Intel will still be here standing tall.
  • 1 Hide
    mortsmi7 , January 25, 2012 12:37 PM
    I could see an architecture change once the size threshold is met. If you can't make it smaller, it's a good time to make it different.
  • 4 Hide
    Travis Beane , January 25, 2012 12:57 PM
    High prices for Intel CPUs is part of the reason they can afford to build facilities such as these. If they sold the chips at cost, we'd save a lot of money but progress would stop.
  • 15 Hide
    willard , January 25, 2012 1:19 PM
    Why are people calling for an end to x86? What exactly is it that you think is so bad about the instruction set? Current development tools and operating system kernels are very mature. Changing the instruction set would require abandoning all that, and for what?

    Methinks the people calling out x86 don't really understand what it really is, just a set of opcodes. Different is not better by default.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , January 25, 2012 1:22 PM
    here let me do some rough math based on a 34nm Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) at 279$

    now we can assume that a waffer costs at base 50k, so under current numbers they can yeild 21505gb a waffer
    now to make the math easier, i added 1nm to each process, but a shrink from 34nm to 14nm means that they can make 5.44gb of 14nm for ever 1gb of 34nm

    crunching the same figures comes out to 116987gb per waffer, and it comes in at .42 cents a gb
    but lets not stop there
    a 300mm waffer has 282600 mm of working area by my math (max possible, not whats actually used)
    a 450mm waffer has 635850 mm of working area by my math (max possible again)

    that is a working size of 2.25 the size of the old.

    this means that each waffer can hold 263221gb of data and comes to .18cents a gb

    that's assuming that the 450nm also costs 50k a waffer, my bets is it costs a bit more, but they wouldnt make it bigger if it cost to much extra so a 14nm ssd will cost between 44 cents to 18 cents a gb. awesome.

    useing my same math for this, and assumeing the two best case scenerios on cost, the current top of the line cpu intel makes (Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition Sandy Bridge-E 3.3GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73960X) would cost 85.78$
  • 2 Hide
    freggo , January 25, 2012 2:06 PM
    eklerusomg Intel look at the cpu die size in the 3rd picture it's to big for me ^^


    Hey eklerus, thanks for making me start the day with a good laugh !
    Did not 'see' that until I read your one-liner. :-)
  • -1 Hide
    acadia11 , January 25, 2012 2:16 PM
    All your base are belong to us!!!! Sorry, AMD!!!!
Display more comments