Intel’s Big Bet

I am always amazed at the incredible work that Intel’s manufacturing group does especially when it comes to major technology transitons like the one that is upon us now. Shrinking to 32nm will require a massive investment, which we will accelerate now in part because the process or ‘recipie’ for making these new chips is already up and running and as we say around here, is very ‘healthy.’ For more on all of this, see the news here.

I believe it was Gordon Moore who first said many years ago that you dont save your way out of a recession. Craig Barrett took that to heart as CEO earlier this decade and built new factory capacity when everyone else was scaling back following the dot.com implosion. That move, putting pedal to metal when others were braking, proved to be a decisive factor in Intel’s regained strength over the last few years. Even so, announcing a $7 billion committment in the U.S., in this time and this environment, is truly staggering when you think about it. What other major US-based manufacturer in any sector is doing anything like this today? Certainly not the automobile industry. This is a tribute to the manufacturing machine that is Intel, and to the belief that technology is still an essential ingredient to U.S. competitiveness, now and in the future. If anyone can pull this off it’s Intel.

The irony is, we make these investments not knowing really whether the demand will ultimately be there. That is scary, but if you look back over time this is what Intel does best. It’s a huge bet on the future, and one we think will pay off.

2 Responses to Intel’s Big Bet

  1. bradley todd says:

    Will primary work for the first 32nm fab be done in PTD? I was glad to see that Intel’s 45nm roll out began in AZ and hope the 1st 32nm fab stays stateside too.

  2. Bill C_1 says:

    The initial phases of the 32nm development is being done in Oregon yes. It was the same with 45nm but you are correct– the first high-volume manufacturing on 45nm was Arizona. All of the initial silicon R&D for these new processes is handled by the Portland Technology Development team in Oregon and the work they do is then transfered (copy exactly) to the other volume fabs. It will be the same with 32nm.