Between $6 billion and $8 billion will be spent to upgrade Intel factories and build a new research and development center. Intel said the investment for 22-nanometer chips will create as many as 1,000 permanent jobs as Moore's Law advances. An analyst said the new chips are likely to be used first in Intel's Xeon and Itanium server solutions.
The world's largest chipmaker announced a major investment in infrastructure on Tuesday, pledging to spend between $6 billion and $8 billion to upgrade factories in Oregon and Arizona and build a new center for research and development.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, which has spearheaded 22-nanometer technology and boasts of manufacturing 10 billion transistors per second, says the investment will create as many as 1,000 new permanent jobs creating sleeker, better-performing devices with longer battery life. The investment could also create 6,000 to 8,000 temporary construction jobs.
"Today's announcement reflects the next tranche of the continued advancement of Moore's Law and a further commitment to invest in the future of Intel and America," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. "The most immediate impact of our multibillion-dollar investment will be the thousands of jobs associated with building a new fab and upgrading four others, and the high-wage, high-tech manufacturing jobs that follow."
Moore's law, first coined in a 1965 research paper by Intel cofounder Gordon E. Moore, posits that the number of transistors that can be placed on a circuit doubles every two years.
In February, Intel announced that IM Flash Technoogies, its joint venture with Micron Technologies, had created a 64-gigabit NAND flash die based on 25-nanometer process technology. The process doubles the density of the partnership's previous milestone creation, a 32-gigabit die based on 34-nanometer technology. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.
Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT , said the announcement wasn't surprising since Otellini said at the company's recent developers forum that 22-nanometer "Ivy Bridge" development was on track for product availability in the second half of next year.
"The fab upgrades are all about bringing commercial production online," said King, who noted that while AMD and IBM are also moving to 22-nanometer production, "I don't know of any whose efforts and expenditures are in line with Intel's."
Server Solutions First
He said the new chips are likely to be used first in Intel's Xeon and Itanium server solutions, and later in Core computers and and Atom netbook processors.
"That said, 22-nanometer technologies are also likely to appear in new embedded processors and solutions that Intel has been discussing during the past few months, and which will likely be based/enabled, in part, on its Wind River assets," King added.
Those include systems for cars, set-top boxes and other consumer and business products. "But Intel is also working with partners on entirely new solutions, such as chips that support security features and functionality gleaned from the company's acquisition of McAfee," King said. "In essence, next-generation 22nm technology will provide the world's largest microprocessor entry into a sizable number of entirely new, discreet markets. That should be a world-changing event for Intel and the industry."Intel said its improved facilities will fuel continued growth of the personal-computer market at a time when it has reached a milestone of one million units shipping each day.