Intel is to invest $3.5 billion to expand the manufacturing at its Rio Rancho chip factory in New Mexico, amid a global semiconductor shortage.
According to Intel’s announcement, the factory will be expanded to manufacture “breakthrough advanced semiconductor packaging technologies”, including its 3D packaging technology which Intel calls ‘Foveros.’
The New Mexico expansion follows Intel’s announcement in March, when it said it would spend $20 billion to build two new fabs (semiconductor factories) in Arizona.
The $3.5 billion investment at the Rio Rancho campus however will create “at least 700 high-tech jobs and 1,000 construction jobs and support an additional 3,500 jobs in the state,” the chip maker said.
Intel added that planning activities begin immediately, with construction expected to start in late 2021.
“A key differentiator for our IDM 2.0 strategy is our unquestioned leadership in advanced packaging, which allows us to mix and match compute tiles to deliver the best products,” explained Keyvan Esfarjani, Intel senior VP and GM of manufacturing and operations.
“We’re seeing tremendous interest in these capabilities from the industry, especially following the introduction of our new Intel Foundry Services,” said Esfarjani. “We’re proud to have invested in New Mexico for more than 40 years and we see our Rio Rancho campus continuing to play a critical role in Intel’s global manufacturing network in our new era of IDM 2.0.”
Intel said that its ‘Foveros’ 3D packaging technology is notable because it enables Intel to build processors with compute tiles stacked vertically, rather than side-by-side.
This is important as it provides greater performance in a smaller footprint.
It also allows Intel to mix and match compute tiles to optimise for cost and power efficiency.
The move from system-on-chip to “system on package” will enable Intel to meet increasing computing performance needs for artificial intelligence, 5G and the edge, the chip giant stated.
“Intel’s $3.5 billion investment in New Mexico will create 700 new jobs in the next three years and establish the Rio Rancho campus as the company’s domestic hub for advanced semiconductor manufacturing,” said New Mexico Govenor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Intel has had a presence in New Mexico since 1980, and over the years has invested $16.3 billion to support its operations in that US state.
The facility currently employs more than 1,800 people, and the company said it also purchases renewable energy to meet 100 percent of its New Mexico electricity use.
Intel also said it invests in energy-saving measures at the site.