Intel on Monday announced a $ 3.5 billion upgrade to a chip manufacturing plant in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, that would promote a processor stacking technology called Foveros. The combined spending, along with $ 20 billion to build two new facilities in Arizona, is part of a major effort by Intel to rejuvenate its construction.
The chipmaker confirmed the upgrade plan on Sunday, previously reported on CBS’s 60 Minutes, and said Monday that it would mean 700 new jobs on the site over the next three years. Intel’s manufacturing head Kevan Esfarjani gave the plan in detail at a press conference with the New Mexico government. Michelle Lujan Grisham, two senators from New Mexico, Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan, and Rep. Teresa Lena Fernandez, intel said. With the commencement of work this year, the expenditure also means 1,000 new construction works.
Intel led chipmaking for decades but in recent years Taiwan lagged behind Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Investing in its new chipmaking plants, called Fabs, is part of a major Intel effort to restore competition under it. The company also plans to make chips for others, a business called a foundry, and to rely on other chip foundries to make some chips of its own.
On New Mexico fab, Intel will increase usage of aIt debuted in Intel 2018 and for the first time was an efficient but . It is technically difficult to connect different chip elements to each other and combine them with power distribution and communication links, but Intel hopes it will bring manufacturing flexibility. It can also be used to accommodate chip elements built into other chip foundries.
More chipmaking investment, less stock buyback
Intel is pleased with the current political efforts to raise federal funds to help the American chip industry. Gelsinger said Intel would invest more of its own money than it would spend on buying its stock, which keeps shareholders happy but doesn’t help with research or operations.
“We won’t be anywhere near as the focus is on buybacks as we have in the past,” reported in 60 minutes. “It has been reviewed as part of my arrival in the company, agreed with the board of directors.”
Making shareholders happy was important because Intel struggled, Moore Insights and strategy Analyst Patrick Moorehead tweeted on Monday. “If they don’t buy then I think the company would have disbanded,” Moorehead said. A widely suggested remedy for Intel’s woes has been to divest its chip design business, which comes from its chip manufacturing business with processors such as core and Exxon models.
Intel’s stiff competition
The Silicon Valley company remains profitable, but it faces stiff competition on several fronts in addition to TSMC and the third major chipmaker, Samsung. All smartphone processors are members of the Arm family, including Apple’s A series. Apple has also split from Intel for its new M series of Mac processors. Meanwhile, Amazon has an arm server processor for its Amazon web services, a cloud computing foundation that powers the Internet’s vast swats.
Intel also faced a small arm rival named RISC-V that has won interest from some notable chip startups. One, Tenstorent, hired Jim Keller, formerly a high-profile Intel chip designer, as chief executive. Another, Esperanto Technologies has revealed an AI chip design with over 1,000 processing cores.
In an indication of how serious Intel is about its foundry business, it will be able to make both ARM and RISC-V processors.
TSMC is spending billions of dollars on its new fabs, mostly in Taiwan but also in Arizona. At the age of 60, he said, “However, we feel that” we believe it will take us a few years and we will be caught. “