In 2011, Intel revealed plans for constructing a new plant in its Leixlip campus in County Kildare, Ireland. The $500 million construction project would employ 200 high-level technology jobs, as well as 850 construction jobs, aside from the over 4,000 existing Leixlip employees.
The plan was approved by Kildare County Council in August 2012, but the plans were appealed to An Bord Pleanála, Ireland’s leading planning agency, which finally gave Intel the green light last week.
Intel will construct the $4 billion chip plant, which will produce the next generation of 14 nanometer microprocessors and eventually create 10nm, 7nm and 5nm chips beyond 2015. The two-year project may generate 3,500 construction jobs and 800 full-time technology jobs.
The plan consists of a number of new buildings, which will be built within the existing Intel campus and operate alongside existing site infrastucture and buildings. The new buildings will include a multi-story carpark extending over five levels, a new chemical storage building, ancillary works and a new retention pond to catch additional surface water runoff, a three-story main fabrication facility (FAB) with a floor area of 101,000 sq meters, and will feature IC assembly equipment within an open clean room supported by two utility floors, an air conditioning mezzanine and utility trenches. Other buildings include a process specific support system building to house liquid chemicals and collection of waste water, as well as a facility support building, a two-story boiler/chiller facility, a water treatment building and emergency generation and electrical buildings with backup electrical capacity supplied by diesel turbines.
Two other locations were considered for the construction of the new project: Intel’s plants in Arizona and Oregon.
Intel’s construction plans certainly seem to be keeping pace with Moore’s Law, “the observation that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years.” Moore’s Law was named after Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore, who described the trend in his 1965 paper.
As Intel keeps up with Moore’s Law, more jobs will be created in its facilities. It’s a sign that Intel plans to further growth and development in key areas even as it loses market share in the declining PC sector. Wikibon senior analyst and CTO David Floyer notes Intel’s strength in the data center as an ongoing opportunity, and also outlines Intel’s “post-PC blues” in a recent report, which you can read here.
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