Intel debuts new Dalian fab

21:11, October 27, 2010      

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Intel Corp fired up production at its first semiconductor plant in Asia Tuesday, as the US computer chip giant positions itself to take a bigger bite out of China's growing PC market.

The $2.5 billion plant in Dalian, located in northeast China's Liaoning Province, will initially manufacture chipsets for laptops, high-performance desktop PCs and powerful servers.

A chipset allows the central processing unit (CPU), the computer's brain, to interface with components and expan-sion cards on board.

With more than 1,500 employees, half of whom are locals, Intel will produce 300-millimeter integrated wafers using 65-nanometer technology — an advanced method of computer chipmaking that increases the number of tiny transistors squeezed onto a single chip. The technology is more advanced than the 90-nanometer technology Intel had said it would use when it initially announced the project in 2007.

Located in the high-tech Jinzhou New District in the port city of Dalian, the facility covers an area of 163,000 square meters, roughly the same area as 23 soccer fields.

Industry watchers said the investment aims to take a bigger chunk of China's growing high-tech marketplace.

Intel hopes to reduce labor costs via the establishment of a local chip plant specifically focused on the domestic market, said Ji Chendong, a Shanghai-based consultant with research firm Frost & Sullivan.

In the second quarter, Intel enjoyed an 80 percent market share in the country's desktop CPU market, while rival AMD controlled the remain share, according to Sun Huifeng, an analyst with CCID Consulting, a Beijing-based IT research firm.

The new plant has been a long time coming.

"This is the first fab we've built at a brand new site since 1992," said Paul Otellini, Intel's president and chief executive officer, speaking at the plant opening.

More than 30 of the chipmaker's 1,000 trade partners have already set up shops in Dailian, said Ping Yuan, deputy of the Jinzhou District Bureau of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

Source: Global Times


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