Intel announced today that the company will invest between $6
billion and $8 billion on future generations of manufacturing
technology in its American facilities.
The action will fund deployment of Intel's next-generation 22-
nanometer (nm) manufacturing process across several existing
U.S. factories, along with construction of a new development
fabrication plant (commonly called a "fab") in Oregon. The
projects will support 6,000 to 8,000 construction jobs and
result in 800 to 1,000 new permanent high-tech 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 multi-billion-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
Intel?s brand-new development fab in Oregon - to be called
"D1X" ? is scheduled for R&D startup in 2013. Upgrades are
also planned for a total of four existing factories in Arizona
(known as Fab 12 and Fab 32) and Oregon (known as D1C and
While Intel generates approximately three-fourths of its
revenues overseas, it maintains three-fourths of its
microprocessor manufacturing in the United States. This new
investment commitment also allows the company to maintain its
existing manufacturing employment base at these sites.
This new capital expenditure follows a U.S. investment
announcement made in February 2009 to support upgrades to its
manufacturing process. Those upgrades resulted in 32nm process
technology which has already produced computer chips being
used today in PCs, servers, embedded and mobile devices around
the world. Intel's first 22nm microprocessors, codenamed "Ivy
Bridge," will be in production in late 2011 and will boost
further levels of performance and power efficiency. Ivy Bridge
will be the follow-on to Sandy Bridge. Ivy Bridge will not
only have a smaller footprint. It will take Moore's Law and
add more transistors, which means more features and generally
you have lower power. Ivy Bridge is like a second generation
Intel is also working on even more advanced manufacturing
processes in its labs. The Oregon's fab is targeted at 15
nanometers and beyond (11 nanometers, and 8 nanometers). The
15nm chips are not expected to appear earlier than 2013.
Of course, don't expect to see CPU clocks higher than the
currently available. Intel believes that the future chips will
continue to integrate memory controllers and graphics. On the
other hand, paralelism is another area where Intel is
focusing, with the future CPU to get additional cores.
While Intel invests on new advanced technologies, rival AMD
believes that that powerful graphics in its upcoming
microchips will help the company regain the ground lost to
Intel. AMD's upcoming lineups (Fusion chips) also combine graphics
and traditional processing power.
Nvidia is also developing GPUs for smartphones that work
alongside energy-efficient central processors made by ARM
Holdings. It is also encouraging scientists to use GPUs to
build supercomputers for running simulations in physics and
other math-heavy tasks.
While CPUs are designed to make huge calculations very
quickly, one after another, GPUs excel at carrying out several
small calculations at the same time.