Intel Plans Expansion at N.M. Plant
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) _ A $2 billion expansion at Intel Corp.’s computer chip factory in New Mexico will create about 1,000 new jobs over the next three to five years, company officials said Wednesday.
The jobs would be mostly manufacturing technician positions created as part of a project to make microchips on new 12-inch silicon wafers. The largest wafers used in production today are 8 inches in diameter.
The new wafers will allow manufacturers to make about two-and-a-half times more microchips per wafer than what is currently being produced, Bruce Leising, Intel Technology and Manufacturing Group vice president, said at a news conference.
The larger wafers will help Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel cut manufacturing costs by about 30 percent, he said.
To accommodate the changes, Intel’s Fab 11 building, where the microchips will be made, will expand by 135,000 square feet. In addition, a new four-story office building along with structures for project management and microchip testing will be built. In all, over 1 million square feet will be built on the property.
Construction will begin immediately and should be completed by late 2001, Leising said. Full production is expected to begin in 2002.
In addition to the manufacturing technician jobs, the additions to the factory are expected to bring in about 2,000 construction jobs.
Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, had 1999 profits of $7.3 billion on sales of $29.4 billion.