Globes reports that General Manager of Intel Israel, Maxine Fassberg didn’t mince her words recently, announcing “the first fab with this technology will be in Arizona, and we want to be the second fab.”
Now, while it’s true that “I want” doesn’t always get, Intel could do worse than invest in Israel once again. The firm’s Israeli branch saw a revenue increase of 145 per cent in 2009, reaching a whopping $3.4 billion.
“2009 exceeded all our expectations. We brought the Kiryat Gat fab to peak production capacity,” said Fassberg, referring to Intel Israel’s existing 45-nanometer fab in Kiryat Gat (Fab 28) which just a short while ago was considered bleeding edge.
As 45nm becomes old news, and old process tech, Intel’s new 32-nanometer fabs are already churning out smaller chips.
But Intel Israel apparently wants to skip a node and move straight to 22nm, a step likely to cost some $2.7 billion of which the Israeli government will probably stump up $400-500 million.
While this may sound like a serious chunk of change for a government to sink into a commercial fab, it’s worth noting that Intel employs some 6,300 Israelis (in a country whose population numbers just 7.4 million) and has created another 20,000 jobs both directly and indirectly.
As well as its fabs, Intel also has several R&D centres in the country and reckons it has managed to clock $17.5 billion in exports over the past 10 years.
Intel international has done its fair share of the financial heavy lifting too, with the firm channeling $7.3 billion of investment into the country including a hefty $3.3 billion for fab 28.
Fassberg told Israeli press that Intel international’s decision would likely be made by the end of March, and that 22nm fabs would be up and running in 2012.