Intel To Produce 7nm Node At Fab 42, Announces $7 Billion Investment To Finish Construction

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced at the White House that the company is investing $7 billion to complete its Fab 42 in Chandler, Arizona. The investment will prepare the fab for 7nm production. Krzanich proclaimed that “we support the Administration’s policies to level the global playing field and make U.S. manufacturing competitive worldwide through new regulatory standards and investment policies.” The statement comes amidst Intel’s disagreement with the current administration’s immigration policies. Intel’s stance made news this week as the company became a vocal opponent of President Trump’s policy.

Intel predicts the new investment will create 3,000 full-time jobs at Intel and an additional 10,000 jobs in Arizona for operational support. Intel stated that the investment is yet another commitment to its American interests, where it produces the majority of its wafers and R&D. Krzanich also took a moment to note that the company sells more than 80% of its products outside of the U.S., making it one of the top five exporters. Intel spent $12.1 billion on R&D in 2015, making it the third largest R&D investor in the U.S. The company also invested $5.1 billion in capital expenditures in 2015, making it the U.S.’s largest technology investor. Intel has 50,000 employees and supports nearly half a million ancillary jobs in the U.S.

As part of the announcement, Krzanich penned an email to employees covering the company’s stance on both the new investment and the ongoing immigration dispute, which read in part:

Government policies play a critical role in enabling and sustaining American-driven innovation. At Intel we meet with governments from around the world, discussing and debating issues and policies important to our business, employees and shareholders. When we disagree, we don’t walk away. We believe that we must be part of the conversation to voice our views on key issues such as immigration, H1B visas and other policies that are essential to innovation.

Intel’s Chandler, Arizona investments began in 1996. The company already has Fabs 12 and 32 in Arizona that focus on 22/14/65nm chips. Intel originally began construction on Fab 42 in 2013 but shuttered the fab before wafer production began.

Intel will complete Fab 42 (again) in 3-4 years, which should give us a rough indication of Intel’s planned timeline for its 7nm CPUs. Intel flashed its 10nm CPU at CES 2017, but we don’t expect the leading mobility-focused products to hit shelves until the end of the year. Desktop 10nm Cannonlake products will probably arrive in 2018. Not everyone is sold on the prospects for 10nm. GlobalFoundries, and AMD as an extension of that, are skipping 10nm entirely in favor of 7nm chips.

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