Intel opens $2.5 billion Dalian plant

Intel‘s shiny new $2.5billion semiconductor manufacturing plant opens today with the aim of increasing the chip producer’s capabilities in the global PC market.

The site in Dalian, China, will work in conjunction with a testing and assembly factory in Vietnam, making chipsets using 12-inch wafers while employing 1,500 workers.  However, with the semiconductor market not exactly flourishing at the moment it appears that the timing may not be ideal for Intel. The global semiconductor industry faces declining prices amid rising supply, writes the Wall Street Journal.

However, while the global market will grow by three percent less than expected this year with 89.7 million units shipped in the third quarter, it is predicted that substantial growth in China will still provide other reasons for Intel to be happy with its factory.

CEO Paul Otellini said at the opening ceremony that the facility will help Intel better serve its customers in Asia, and according to figures announced by IDC this is a customer base that is still quickly expanding.

Experts at IDC have forecast that PC shipping will grow by 25 percent for China this year, and, if the expectation is correct, this will mean that China will take over from the US as the world’s largest PC market by shipment by 2012, with Intel very well placed to capitalise.

Furthermore Otellini will himself be flying over to Taiwan to meet with Premier Wu Den-yih ostensibly to discuss cloud computing on the 28th October, amid rumours of finally beginning to push WiMax after much deliberation on Intel’s part. 

Otellini will also be meeting with top representatives of Chunghwa Telecom to discuss smart TVs further signalling more established partnerships in the East.