Intel Corp. plans to start building its first semiconductor facility that will process 450mm wafers this year. The company has assigned $2 billion to expand its D1X fab in Hillsboro, Oregon with dedicated 450mm module 2 and is looking forward to have the construction ready for equipment by 2015.
“We will spend roughly $2 billion to start building our first 450mm [D1X module 2] development facility [in 2013]. […] When we look at 2015 as the time when we can have [450mm] equipment available, we want to start […] construction of a big development facility [now]. [Construction] is typically a couple of year’s cycle,” said Stacy Smith, the chief financial officer of Intel.
Intel is currently equipping its D1X development fab to process 300mm wafers using 14nm manufacturing technology and expects to initiate production this year. While the D1X module 1 facility is 450mm-capable, it will come online as a 300mm fab.
Rendering of Intel's manufacturing facilities in Hillsboro, Oregon, which includes D1X module 2 research fab. Image by Portland Business Journal.
Later this year, the company plans to start constructing D1X module 2, which is about the same size (1.1 million square feet, 106.1 thousand of square meters) as the original D1X Fab and is built specifically for 450mm wafers. When the second module is complete, it will start up on 450mm wafers once it is equipped with appropriate manufacturing tools and gear.
“We do not have a specific schedule for D1X module 2 yet. The spending on 450mm this year is for bricks and mortar and some early development equipment, but nothing for production at this time,” said Chuck Mulloy, a spokesman for Intel, when asked for additional details by X-bit labs.