First Chipmaking Tool Rolls In To Intel Oregon Fab Expansion
August 9, 2021
For most people, a tool is
something you hold in your hand: pliers, hammer, screwdriver. Inside an
Intel chip factory, a tool is a whole different deal. Fab tools are huge
and hugely costly and take entire teams to muscle into place and
Intel aggressively ramps its worldwide manufacturing footprint, a
construction milestone recently passed at Intelís Ronler Acres factory
in Hillsboro, Oregon.
At the companyís massive $3 billion Mod3 factory expansion, the first
tool rolled in. The honor went to a thin film deposition tool. It
arrived not in a leather tool belt, but aboard two semitractor-trailers.
Once completed and hooked up, it will weigh 10 tons. And by the time the
Mod3 project is done in about six months, the thin film deposition tool
will be joined by more than a dozen like it. A typical Intel fab, once
built out, is stuffed with about 1,200 chipmaking tools, many of them
costing millions of dollars apiece.
To satisfy the mushrooming global demand for computer chips, Intel is
building or expanding factories in Arizona, New Mexico, Ireland, Israel
and Costa Rica. And CEO Pat Gelsinger has told the tech world to stay
tuned for news of more Intel fabs around the world.