The World Inside Intel’s Newest Chip Fab

Flow through Intel’s newest 45nm chip factory, one of the cleanest places in the world spanning about 17 America football fields. See the many layers or floors of the factory and the automated shuttles whisking 300 millimeter wafers from one step to the next, ultimately ending up as brain chips running new consumer desktop and laptop computers in 2008 .

Facebook’s Value is Five Times the Price Tag of New Intel Chip Fab?

Lots of buzz about the the big investment in Facebook that set off calculation artists to figure the funnest site on the virtual planet is valued at $15 Billion. Wow! My advice: Don’t buy it!! Let it live, breathe and be free to grow…at least for a while longer.

Here’s something just announced today by the company I work for, Intel. Press release is pasted below. But my mind is swirling, connecting numbers. What do they really mean? At a cost of $3 Billion, Intel’s new Fab 32 chip making plant in Arizona is rapidly pumping out nearly a billion newly minted Intel transistors onto each multi-core chip coming out soon. OK, actually on the new quad core chips, it’s estimated to be about 840 million newly designed transistors built using Intel’s Hafnium-based high-k metal gate silicon technology.

Press Release from 10/25/06: Intel is opening its newest state-of-the-art microprocessor factory (called Fab 32) in Chandler, Ariz. as it prepares to ship its first 45nm processors on Nov. 12.

Context: Manufacturing capacity and modernization are key differentiators in today’s competitive market for microprocessors. Intel invests heavily in its global manufacturing network, including a $3 billion investment in Fab 32, to ensure it can meet the demands of the market, and is quickly ramping production on its 45nm process technology. Two more 45nm factories will open next year.

Relevance: With 1 million square feet and more than 1,000 employees, Fab 32 is Intel’s latest environmentally friendly factory that will manufacture tens of millions of the most energy-efficient processors the company has ever made. These processors are based on Intel’s groundbreaking transistors with Hafnium-based high-k metal gate silicon technology, the biggest change to how transistors are made in 40 years.

Here is a fun, educational animation shared during the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco last month. Following the animation is a video shot inside Intel’s fab and research facility in Oregon in January when Intel first showed working processors build with the new, smaller, energy-efficient transistors.

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Video — Intel Fab Tools Rockin’ the World

I’ve been inside only a few fabs shooting video. You suit up and step into another world, cleaner than anyplace on earth. The best part is talking with researchers and engineers who get to spend much of their time living inside and outside the fab. All of the movement and mysterious tools, many walled in behind glass. This video shows the 65nm process teams from different parts of the world, and looks ahead to 45nm circuitry process coming very soon. Several hundred of the new energy efficient, hafnium infused 45nm transistors can fit into a human red blood cell. These chip makers have advance from fitting millions to billions of transistors on a single chip since I joined Intel in 2000.