Intel this week reiterated plans to expand its production capacities in a bid to more quickly respond to increased demand. In the coming years the company intends to increase production of chips at three existing facilities and outfit a new fab with DUV and EUV tools. In addition, the company said it will develop its next-gen storage and memory technology at its manufacturing plant in New Mexico.

Back in 2017, Intel originally announced its intentions to finally furnish its Fab 42 in Arizona, which had been on hold for several years. The production facility will be used to make chips using Intel’s 7 nm manufacturing technology, which relies on DUV and EUV lithography tools. Intel has yet to announce exactly when it plans to start using this fabrication technology, but this week it said that it was making good progress in equipping the fab.

In addition, Intel intends to expand its manufacturing facilities in Oregon, Ireland, and Israel. The company has been discussing expansions of its fabs in Ireland as well as Israel for quite some time now, so it looks like the company will finally start these expansions in 2019. Meanwhile, the adding fab space to its Oregon plant – home to the company's development fabs – was unexpected and the company yet has to detail these plans.

Intel expects that the expansion of its production facilities will enable it to more quickly respond to demand increases. This faster response time will translate into higher sales, but will also increase Intel’s factory depreciation and OpEx costs.

In addition to expanding its own manufacturing capacities, Intel will also continue using third-party foundry services to make its various products when it makes business sense, including (but not limited to) entry-level SoCs or chipsets. The company collaborated with TSMC and other partners in the past, so the announcement just confirms that the company will continue to do so in the future even after it expands its own capacities, if third-party foundries offer the right technologies for particular applications.

Last but not least, Intel also made an announcement regarding the future of its storage and memory technology, which is being moved exclusively inside Intel after the company announced its intention to wind-down its long-standing joint development initiative with Micron. The chip giant will develop the tech at its manufacturing facility in New Mexico after it leaves IMFT plant in the coming quarters.

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Source: Intel

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  • Cyanara - Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - link

    Intel have a 7nm manufacturing process? All I've been hearing is how much trouble they've been having getting anything out of 10nm (even if it is more akin to TSMC's "7nm").
  • Valantar - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    They have a 7nm process _in development_. It comes after 10nm, and if the recent statements are anything to go by it's "on track" for whenever it is supposed to launch (unlike 10nm, which as of now is three+ years late). For all we know, 10nm might last for a year or less for mainstream product lines whenever it finally appears.
  • eva02langley - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    Or might be slightly used for less complex chips and phased out to 7nm for full deployment for their high level silicon.

    I honestly believe that it is what they were intending by "not dead" and "in progress". Semi-accurate report seems more and more plausible.
  • HStewart - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    Semi-accurate is well known as quite bias

    I don't believe Intel killed 10nm - possibly killed Cannon Lake - early reports may have indicate that behind the scenes Intel has developed a new 7nm - but latest rumors indicate 10nm does have some life in but possibly only short live for 1 or 2 years - but this is all speculation - we have to just have to see what happens.

    Keep in mind the Node development (nm) is different then architexture - it is extremely smart that Intel is investing in 7nm at same time correcting 10nm and also working on improve the core architexture.
  • haukionkannel - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    It may be that the 7nm may come out faster than 10nm... Well not actually because 10m is coming to consumers in small quantities even now and in volume 2019 (hopefully).
    The 7nm is made with different production technology, so things that does make Intel's 10nm to struggle are not completely same as with 7nm. If 7nm would be just better version of 10nm... well then it also would be in deep trouble at this moment.
    But all in all, it is getting harder and harder to make things even smaller.
  • HStewart - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    I think they are working on both 10nm and 7nm at same time. Intel gets a lot of bad rap about 10nm being taking a long time and I believe they wan end that discussion by making sure that 10nm is corrected and 7nm is on track.

    When previous this month the article about 7nm it appear that Intel drop currently 10nm plans and went directly to 7nm next year - how it looks like from later reports - that they instead made corrections for 10nm

    I believe Intel wants every one to realize that Architexture Is different than Node (nm size development are independent then each. The big chance for Intel next year is Sunny Cove which is major Architexture change - but it could be built of 10nm, 7nm or even 14nm nodes. Yes smaller nodes help in making things more dense, lower power and possibly even faster - but the real performance change comes with Architexture changes

    I think we are on same thought - but of course in forums like this - they are only opinions and must be taken with grain of salt.
  • yannigr2 - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    I can think of two scenarios.

    1) Next gen Intel CPUs will be really great, triggering a new circle of upgrades and Intel is getting ready for it.

    2) Even with AMD stealing some market share and Qualcomm trying to get into laptops, Intel sees that the demand for x86 processors is going to sky rocket in the next years, so it is getting ready to support that.

    In any case people realized that tablets are not going to replace PCs any time soon, so they are going back to PCs, with smartphones covering any needs for a touch device. At the same time every business/enterprise/organization/? out there, it is probably increasing the number of PCs it uses, driving the need for x86 machines higher.
  • HStewart - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    Keep in mind replacing PC is not same as replacing Desktop computers. You can take a trip to local BestBuy and see few desktop, few AMD laptop and yet to see Qualcomm laptop.

    One thing about Qualcomm, Windows is probably not best market - I am sure Qualcomm would make a killer Chromebook - but that would compete with Android and they probably don't want to do that - On Windows it is basically a joke.
  • iwod - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    Why the expansion now? Did they not forecast to have the need for these Capacity long before? Why not during BK era? What went wrong? Why left IMFT? Why making 3D Point / Optane yourself ?

    The more changes they are making now the more it shows how Intel had not been doing anything in the past few years.
  • HStewart - Thursday, December 20, 2018 - link

    I think it done for Business reasons, I believe they do their large purchases at end of year. They also have other plans for Optane memory stuff and probably getting rid of fat of it. FAB changes take time to develop especially that things are getting smaller and smaller. Just because it not publicly announce about the changes - does not mean they have been working on it. It would be foolish to believe that Intel has not been working on correcting 10nm issues they obvious appear to have trouble in area.

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