Intel has opened the doors of its new 45nm (nanometer) facility in Arizona and begun production of a new generation of microprocessors for PCs, laptops, servers and other computing devices.
“Fab 32” is a $3-billion factory and will will use Intel’s 45nm process technology based on the company having “reinvented” certain areas of the transistors inside its processors to reduce energy leakage.
The 45nm transistors use a Hafnium-based high-k material for the gate dielectric and metal materials for the gate, and are so small that more than 2-million can fit on the period at the end of this sentence.
Millions of these tiny transistors will make up Intel’s faster, more energy efficient lead- and halogen-free processors for PCs, laptops and servers, as well as ultra low-power processors for mobile Internet and consumer electronic devices, and low-cost PCs. The first of the company’s 45nm processors is scheduled to be introduced on 12 November.
"The opening of Fab 32 in Arizona today is a testament to Intel’s continued investment in our most strategic asset – the most advanced, environmentally friendly manufacturing network in the world,” says Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. “The magic of 45nm and our new transistor design allow us to deliver high-performance, energy-efficient processors to our customers across the entire spectrum of market segments, from the most powerful servers to a variety of mobile devices and everything in between.”
With 184 000 square feet of clean room space, the completed Fab 32 structure measures 1-million square feet, so large that more than 17 US football fields could fit inside the building. More than 1 000 employees will operate the factory in such positions as process, automation and yield engineers and senior manufacturing technicians.
Fab 32 will be among Intel’s most environmentally friendly factories, incorporating a number of energy and water conservation measures that have come to characterize Intel's long track record of environmental stewardship in its operations.
Intel's 45nm process results in a 15% reduction in global warming emissions, and Fab 32 makes use of Intel Arizona’s innovative water conservation and reuse program which conserves more than 70% of the water.
The company also intends to seek certification for the new fab as the company’s first official Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) factory based on new criteria being developed for facilities of this kind.
LEED is a green building rating system developed by the US Green Building Council that provides a set of standards for environmentally sustainable construction and requires several months of operating data before certification can be completed.