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Intel to Build $3.5B Chip Plant in Israel

Intel plans to build a major chip manufacturing plant in Israel, at a cost of $3.5 billion. Construction is set to start immediately in Kiryat Gat on what will be Intel's seventh 300-millimeter fabrication facility, Fab 28. Fab 28 is being designed to produce leading-edge microprocessors on 45-nanometer process technology, and it's expected to go on line in the second half of 2008.

The government of Israel is providing some $525 million in financial incentives to Intel. Most of that is for the new facility announced yesterday, but part of the funds will go to upgrading an existing facility Intel has there for production of 90-nanometer flash memory, Intel spokesman Chuck Molloy told internetnews.com.

In July, Intel announced plans to invest more than $3 billion to build another 300-mm factory, Fab 32, in Chandler, Ariz.

Intel already operates five 300-mm fabs that it says provide the equivalent manufacturing capacity of eight older-generation 200-mm factories. Those factories are located in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico, as well as in Ireland, where an expansion of Intel's 300-mm capacity (Fab 24-2) is scheduled to begin operations in the first quarter of next year.

Manufacturing with 300-mm wafers, which are about 12 inches in diameter, enables companies like Intel to produce semiconductors at a lower cost compared with more commonly used 200-mm, eight-inch wafers. The bigger wafers lower the production cost per chip while diminishing overall use of resources. Intel says that using 300-mm manufacturing technology consumes 40 percent less energy and water per chip than a 200-mm wafer factory.

The new structure will include approximately 200,000 square feet of clean- room space. Over the next several years, the chip giant said, the project will create more than 2,000 Intel jobs at the site.

"Intel is committed to widening its lead in advanced semiconductor manufacturing," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO, in a statement. "Our manufacturing network is a strategic asset of unmatched scope and scale that gives Intel the ability to provide customers with leading-edge products in high volume."

Separately, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel's board of directors announced the promotion of four people to serve as senior vice presidents and elected four others as corporate officers. The company also named new chief marketing and technology officers.

Intel's board promoted corporate vice presidents Anand Chandrasekher, Eric Kim, David Perlmutter and Bruce Sewell to become senior vice presidents of the corporation, and has elected Robert Crooke, Shmuel (Mooly) Eden, Renee James and Brian Krzanich as corporate vice presidents. The company also announced it has named Kim to the position of chief marketing officer and selected senior fellow Justin Rattner to serve as chief technology officer.