Intel opened the company's first Asia-based advanced chip manufacturing plant in China, the company said Oct. 26.
"This manufacturing facility helps deliver on our vision to contribute to sustainable growth in China while giving us better proximity to serve our customers in Asia," said Paul Otellini, Intel's chief executive, in a statement.
Located in Dalian, the wafer fabrication facility will focus initial production on chipsets for laptop computers, high-performance desktop PCs and Intel Xeon processor-based servers, according to Intel. Intel Semiconductor, or Fab 68, has already begun producing 300-millimeter silicon wafers, which will be available by the end of the year, the company said to eWEEK.
Fab 68 is Intel's eighth 300mm wafer fabrication facility worldwide and is already using the advanced 65-nanometer process technology, according to Intel.
Intel recently announced it will invest between $6 billion to $8 billion to buildtwo more facilities in Oregon to produce next-generation 22nm microprocessors.
Fab 68 is staffed with local employees trained to fill skilled, well-paid positions in high-tech manufacturing, Intel said. When fully operational, Fab 68 will have about 1,500 employees, Intel said in an e-mail to eWEEK.
Intel's focus on regional workers meshes with the Chinese government's initiatives to revitalize the region with work force development in "strategic emerging industries" and upgrade the area's economic structure, the company said.
An estimated two dozen companies have also set up shop in Dalian to be near and do business with the new plant, and Intel has started doing business with more than 80 existing suppliers based in Dalian, said the company.
Intel is investing $2.5 billion in the facility, bringing the company's total Chinese investment to date to $4.7 billion, the company said. Intel has been investing and partnering in China for 25 years. Intel also has a large assembly and test site in Chengdu as well as research and development centers and labs scattered throughout China, including in Beijing and Shanghai.
Intel plans to continue investing in China, said Otellini, but he did not give any further details. The "smart" revolution taking place in the computing industry creates exciting opportunities for Intel to pursue in China, he said.
Under construction since 2007, Fab 68 is roughly the size of 23 football fields at 163,000 square meters of factory space, Intel said.
"Fab 68 models the exacting design and construction standards that Intel applies globally for environmental performance, including water, energy and chemical waste management," said Kirby Jefferson, general manager of Fab 68.
Dalian is located in northeast China's Liaoning province about 288 miles east of Beijing and 545 miles north of Shanghai.