Intel has begun construction of a US$1.5 billion chip fabrication plant in Hillsboro, Oregon, where the company will manufacture its next generation of microprocessors.
The plant is part of a multiphase development known as Ronler Acres, and will be home for Intel's Portland Technology Development group, which develops manufacturing technologies for future Intel products.
The plant will be used to develop equipment and technologies required for 0.13-micron production, and eventually will be converted into a volume production plant, Intel said. The company is currently transitioning its general manufacturing operations to a 0.25 micron production technology -- the most advanced technology available today for volume chip manufacture.
One micron is equal to about one thousandth of a millimeter, or about one hundredth the thickness of a human hair. Lower micron technologies make it possible to produce chips at a lower cost, since each chip requires less silicon to produce.
The new facility is scheduled for completion in 2000, and will feature a 120,000 square-foot "clean room." It will be the first location Intel will use to develop and manufacture chips from 12-inch silicon wafers, Intel said.
Intel, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at http://www.intel.com/.