RealTime IT News

The Drive Toward Intel 'Everywhere'

Intel says it wants to update the majority of its semiconductor lineup by the end of 2004 to better reflect emerging know-how like nanotechnology .

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip making giant said it would focus on 90-nanometer process technology to advance its next generation of processors like it's next Pentium release - Prescott.

"Our goal is to drive Intel everywhere in the home," Intel's president and COO Paul Otellini said Tuesday during a Webcast to analysts and investors.

To that end, Intel Wednesday opened a new $2-billion dollar expansion to its manufacturing facility in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Designated Fab 11X, the new expansion will shift production of Intel's 300-mm wafers using 0.13-micron process technology to 90-nanometers by the end of 2003. The Fab covers more than 1 million square feet with 200,000 square feet of clean room space.

The company said making 300-mm wafers (about 12 inches in diameter) increases the production of computer chips compared with the current standard 200-mm (eight inches) wafers. The total silicon surface area of a 300-mm wafer is 225 percent (or more than twice) that of a 200-mm wafer, and the ratio of the printed die (individual computer chips) is increased to 240 percent.

Intel also launched its InfiniBand evaluation program designed to help IT organizations evaluate initial InfiniBand fabrics supporting Intel architecture server platforms. InfiniBand, is Intel's new I/O fabric technique for connecting server-to-server and links to other server-related systems in such areas as remote storage and networking devices. The architecture is expected to be supported in products shipping next year.

The No. 1 chipmaker said it intends to use its manufacturing and marketing prowess to persuade manufacturers to use its processors in personal video recorders, handheld computers and set-top boxes.

And even though Intel maintains an 80 percent cut of the chipmaking universe, CEO Craig Barrett is so bent on getting the chips up to speed, he sent out an e-mail threatening employees with attrition-based layoffs next year if revenue is lackluster.

That may be a hard road considering analysts with In-Stat/MDR predict the semiconductor industry in 2002 should finish on a rather "flat note," while 2003 should see only about 18 percent growth to $164 Billion.