No fab here, Intel says [Times Union, Albany, N.Y.]
(Times Union (Albany, NY) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 18--ALBANY -- Even though it plans to close an older computer chip factory outside Boston next year, Intel Corp. says it doesn't have its eyes on the Empire State, which is developing a $45 billion "mega" chip fab site near Utica for the next generation of chip manufacturing.
"There are no plans to build a fab in New York," Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy told the Times Union this week.
Intel's announcement, which will idle 700 employees at the Hudson, Mass., plant, came at around the time the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering revealed its plans to create a chip manufacturing mega site in Oneida County. The fabs would be built on land CNSE owns across the street from the SUNY Institute of Technology in Marcy, on the outskirts of Utica.
The site, known as the Marcy Nanocenter, includes 400 acres that can accommodate three massive chip fabs with 450,000-square-foot clean rooms, which is large by industry standards. The cost of each fab would be as much as $15 billion.
GlobalFoundries, which operates a 300,000-square-foot clean room at its Fab 8 chip fab in Saratoga County, is planning a second fab that would be similar in size to these mega fabs.
Intel's Hudson fab is old by industry standards, and uses outdated technologies and manufacturing. So it is no surprise that the company would close the plant, which makes chips on 200-millimeter silicon wafers. Today's standard is 300mm wafers, although 200mm fabs worldwide continue to produce less complex chips.
The Marcy site would be home to 450mm wafer technology, which is the next generation of manufacturing technology and can produce twice the number of chips in the same amount of time as a 300mm factory. Although Intel and others have said they are moving toward 450mm processing, no 450mm fab has been built because suppliers are still developing the technology to handle the larger wafers, which at 18 inches in diameter are heavy and difficult to handle.
That development is taking place right now in Albany at the NanoCollege and its $4.8 billion Global 450 Consortium, which is building a pilot 450mm manufacturing line at the hulking NanoFabX building next to Interstate 90.
Intel is part of the G450C, along with Samsung, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., IBM and GlobalFoundries. The NanoCollege has said the logical step would be for one of those companies -- or a group of them -- to build a 450mm fab in Marcy because it would be relatively close to the technology developed in Albany.
But closing the Intel plant in Hudsoncturing doesn't mean those 700 jobs will move to Oneida County. "No there is no connection," Intel's Mulloy said. "Hudson will continue to operate until the end of 2014. It is a 200mm fab running much older process technology."
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