Intel announces $8 billion investment in next-gen US fabs

Intel is planning to invest up to $8 billion on next-generation semiconductor production facilities in the US.

The investment, which will be between $6 billion and $8 billion, will see Intel building a new production fab in Oregon, while also upgrading four other existing fabs it currently operates around the US. We knew there was a large investment in Oregon already, but not quite what. These fabs will produce 22-nanometer process technology, which is being hailed as the next-generation in chips.

The 22-nanometer micrprocessors that Intel intends to create in these fabs will tout higher performance, longer battery life, cheaper costs, and sleeker designs, opening up a potentially stronger wave of competition with rival AMD.

AMD has recently showcased its new Llano processors, which should be available in 2011, but we wonder how it will react to this multi-billion dollar investment by Intel. With the competition between the rivals as strong as ever, AMD may feel threatened by Intel’s large-scale upgrade and may offer a similar investment in its own production facilities in the future.

“Today’s announcement reflects the next tranche of the continued advancement of Moore’s Law and a further commitment to invest in the future of Intel and America,” said Paul Otellini, President and CEO of Intel. “The most immediate impact of our multi-billion-dollar investment will be the thousands of jobs associated with building a new fab and upgrading four others, and the high-wage, high-tech manufacturing jobs that follow.”

The news will be particularly welcomed by the unemployed legion. Intel will create between 6,000 and 8,000 temporary construction jobs and between 800 and 1,000 permanent high-tech jobs once construction is complete.

Intel generates most of its revenue, approximately three-fourths, from outside the US, but it still maintains much of its production, a similar three-fourths, within the country. Today’s announcement highlights the company’s continuing aim to remain strong within the US market.

The new Oregon fab is to be called D1X, with research and development startup planned for 2013. The other labs to be upgraded are Fab 12 and Fab 32 in Arizona and D1C and D1D in Oregon.