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Chinese science park officials in talks with Intel for chip fab

Posted: 17 Jan 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:dual-core processor  processor  processors  65nm  Intel 

Officials in a northern China science park are stoking rumors that Intel Corp. wants to build an advanced chip plant in the area and will announce its intentions as early as March.

An official at the Dalian Economic Technological Development Zone confirmed that it is in talks with Intel, but nothing has been finalised. "It's not only for packaging," the official said, declining to offer more details until a contract is signed.

A report by Reuters suggested Intel would invest "billions" in a fab that would make dual-core processors on a 65nm process. Rumors that Intel will build a chip plant in China have cropped up perennially for at least five years. Each time nothing has happened, or the "advanced" chip making facility turned out to be a chip packaging plant. Intel runs such plants in Shanghai and Chengdu.

Long-time rumors have also held that Intel will build a plant in India.

China is Intel's second largest market behind the United States, so there is good reason for the company to consider putting a plant in the country. Yet there is also good reason to be sceptical about such a project.

The U.S. government exercises tight control over the export of advanced high-tech manufacturing techniques, and that should restrict Intel from using anything under 0.18µm in China—not suitable for its CPUs. Even its NOR flash is made on more advanced processes. One possibility for Dalian is a packaging plant coupled with an R&D facility.

- Mike Clendenin
EE Times

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