Intel stated that it plans to invest $7 billion USD in U.S. manufacturing facilities as part of its 2-year plan to focus on leading-edge technologies.
The news of Intel's big spending spree comes directly from the mouth of Intel president and CEO, Paul Otellini. He states that the huge investment will fund the deployment of Intel's 32 nm manufacturing technology used to build faster, smaller chips that consumer less energy. And after the gloom and doom of recent weeks involving closures and layoffs, the company's new investment - its largest for a new manufacturing process so far - sounds like a breath of fresh air.
"We're investing in America to keep Intel and our nation at the forefront of innovation," Otellini said. "These manufacturing facilities will produce the most advanced computing technology in the world. The capabilities of our 32nm factories are truly extraordinary, and the chips they produce will become the basic building blocks of the digital world, generating economic returns far beyond our industry."
The spending begins with existing manufacturing sites located in Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico. Reinvesting funds back into these facilities means high-wage, high skill jobs for 7,000 employees, adding to the 45,000 Intel workforce residing in the U.S. Currently more than 75 percent of Intel's sales are overseas, however 75 percent of the semiconductor manufacturing is right here in the States.
As reported earlier today, the first processors built using the 32 nm technology (32/billionth of a meter or about 1/millionth of an inch) will use the codename "Westmere," slated for desktop (Clarksdale) and mobile (Arrandale) mainstream systems. Apparently, the Westmere will combine Intel's Nahalem -its latest high-performance micro-architecture- with an integrated graphics/memory controller.
"Outstanding 32nm manufacturing and product health are enabling Intel to accelerate the Westmere production ramp beginning in 2009," said the company. "Additional 32nm products will follow in 2010."
7,000 new jobs sounds like a step in the right direction, and hopefully Americans will see this trend continue as the year unfolds. But even through Intel is investing a huge chunk of money, is now the right time as the economy continues to spiral downward? Time will only tell.