Intel invests $2b in Ireland chip plant

Intel invests $2b in Ireland chip plant

Intel will add additional manufacturing space to an existing wafer fabrication facility in Leixlip, Ireland, in order to build the next generation of its microprocessors.

Construction of the new US$2 billion Fab 24-2 was getting underway and the first chips - from the 18,000sqm of new manufacturing space - were expected in the first half of 2006 , an Intel spokesperson said.

The addition to Intel's Fab 24 will help Intel bring its 65-nanometer process technology to the Irish facility.

Intel generally rolls out new process technologies at its development plant in Hillsboro, Oregon.

It then duplicated every facet of the manufacturing layout at other plants around the world to bring new facilities online, the spokesperson said. Intel was about to begin production of 300mm silicon wafers built on the company's 90-nanometer process technology at an existing plant in Leixlip, it said.

The 90-nanometer process technology was first demonstrated at the Oregon facility earlier this year with the launch of the Prescott Pentium 4 processor.

Several US corporations had set up IT operations in Ireland, drawn by the availability of skilled English-speaking workers as well as the lower costs of labour.

Intel has invested $US6 billion in its Irish operations, which include two other plants in Leixlip as well as a circuit design center in Shannon.

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