by Anton Shilov
06/07/2011 | 10:58 PM
An explosion occurred in one of the solvent waste treatment rooms at Intel fab 22 in Chandler, Arizona. Four people were injured and sent to hospital. The fab continues to operate as the company is investigating the causes of the explosion. The chipmaker did not report about any financial losses.
"We are trying to ascertain what happened. All we know is that there was no damage or release of chemicals to the community," said Josh Walden, Intel's vice president and general manager for fab sort manufacturing, reports Phoenix Business Journal.
The solvent treatment room processes chemicals that are used in the production of semiconductors before the substances are sent to disposal facilities. Caustics used in the process of chip making include such hydrochloric and sulfuric acids, hydrogen peroxide, ammonium hydroxide and a number of more.
The fire alarm system worked as designed and suppressed the fire caused by the explosion. As a result, Intel did not experience any disruption in the manufacturing. At present workers are back to fab 22 and adjacent fab 32, which will be converted to make chips using 22nm process technology shortly.
It is unclear what does Intel's fab 22 produce and at what process technology. There are speculations that the fab 22 is a 200mm facility that produces chips at 130nm/0.13 micron node.