Intel Delays Opening Fab Plant in Arizona

Is it a sign of the times? Intel Corp has reportedly put on hold the opening of a new chip manufacturing plant, "Fab 42," at its site in Chandler, Arizona. The facility, which was slated to allow Intel to create transistors using a 14 nanometer process, will remain closed for the foreseeable future. Other factories at the site will be upgraded instead.

The company said in 2011 that the Fab 42 project would cost an investment of over $5 billion USD. This is the very plant that President Barack Obama once held up as an example of U.S. manufacturing potential during his 2012 re-election campaign. Now the plant remains empty.

"The new construction is going to be left vacant for now and it will be targeted at future technologies," Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy told Reuters. He informed PC World in an email that "we've been headed down this path for some time," and that construction of Fab 42 was completed on schedule.

Mulloy also told PC World that Intel will still deploy 14-nanometer technology in Arizona, but will do so in the existing Fab space at the site rather than use the new facility. As previously stated, the new space will be set aside for new technology, whatever that will be, as there's nothing in the new space save for heating and air conditioning; there are no manufacturing tools to be found.

"By running both 14 and 22 nm processes at the same time we get better utilization of our equipment," he said.

The news arrives after the IDC said that PC shipments took a 5.6 percent dive in the fourth quarter of 2013, with only 82.2 million units sold. For the full year, unit shipments declined 10 percent from 2012, a record drop due to changes in mobility and personal computing. Commercial purchases helped prevent a larger decline while the consumer side remained weak.

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  • vmem
    with AMD's new roadmap essentially announcing the end of CPU wars (it's been unofficially over for a while now), Intel's sole interest now lies in the mobile market and cost management. upgrading existing fabs instead of creating a new one is a good example of cost management... *sighs*
  • jimmysmitty
    With weak competition in the desktop and server market, Intel doesn't have to push as hard. They will use it when they need it, most likely to get a more advanced process up and running when they start their push into the UMD market more but for now they don't need to be able to FAB 14nm as no one is even close to beating them on process size and probably wont for some time.It is a bit sad as that's a lot of jobs that will go unfilled for some time instead of putting more money into the economy.Then again I would not be surprised if it was due to the local AZ government screwing it up somehow like Tucson screwed up and lost a huge facility from Raytheon. The city and state government for AZ tends to not work well with big businesses that will bring in a lot of jobs.
  • bharatwd
    Lack of CPU competition is stalling the market........which means slow rate of increased performance at higher costs.....i see the price of haswell is at 330$, the same price it was at launch.......sick stuff.............