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Intel resumes Fab 24 construction

With the economic downturn of 2001, Intel put construction of the County Kildare, Ireland, manufacturing plant on hold. Today the chip maker announced it will recommence building the $2 billion facility.

Intel has announced it will resume construction of its fabrication plant in Ireland, Fab 24. Upon completion in early 2004, Fab 24 will represent the chip giant’s fourth 300mm wafer manufacturing facility.

Initially, the plant will manufacture chips using 90nm technology — a process which yielded the world’s smallest SRAM chip in March this year, when Intel researchers built chips capable of storing 52 megabits of information and containing 330 million transistors, all on an area of only 109 square millimetres.

Construction of the County Kildare facility was brought to a halt in response to last year’s economic downturn, and the move to recommence signals Intel’s commitment to driving economic recovery and technological advancement.

“In order to provide customers with the benefits of leading-edge products, we must continue to invest in the newest technologies and capacity,” said Bob Baker, vice president and general manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group.

“As computing and communications devices converge, the need for higher performance components will grow. This facility will help us meet that growing demand. The combination of the 300 mm wafers and 90-nanometer process technology will also reduce the costs of manufacturing, increase productivity and improve the availability of the world's most advanced semiconductor products.”

Fab 24 will cover an area of more than one million square feet, with 160, 000 square feet being dedicated to cleanroom space. It is anticipated that the plant will be in operation within the first half of 2004.

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