Intel to invest US$2.2bn in 22nm chip plant in Israel

19 Jan 2011

Just days after Intel announced a US$500m plan to refit its chip plant in Leixlip, the company has revealed it is moving to 22-nanometer (nm) processes and is investing US$2.5bn to build a new fab in Israel.

On Saturday it emerged that Intel plans to create 1,000 jobs – 750 of them construction jobs – to refit its former Fab 14 chip plant in Leixlip to handle new processes. It is not yet clear what processes the refitted plant will be handling. The company employs around 4,000 people in Ireland.

Intel’s latest 2nd Generation Intel Core Processor, code-named ‘Sandy Bridge’ was manufactured using the 32-nanometer process. Intel CEO Paul Otellini told CES that Intel will have 20 new processors coming out in the year ahead, with more than 500 new design wins for laptops and desktops. “To give you a scale, in 2011 alone, Sandy Bridge will represent one-third of Intel’s corporate revenues.”

Moving from existing 65-nanometer and 45-nanometer to 32-nanometer and 22-nanometer processes would guarantee the longevity of Intel plants around the world for at least a decade to come.

Production of 22-nanometer chips to begin in December

At a news conference in Israel yesterday, the general manager of Intel Israel, Maxine Fassberg, revealed that the Intel plant in Southern Israel will be ready to begin production of 22-nanometer chips by December.

Intel Israel, which employs 7,057 people, will hire 1,000 people over the coming year. The project will be supported by a US$210m grant from the Israeli government.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years