While AMD has managed to migrate all its chips to the 7nm node, Intel is still stuck on the 10nm and 14nm processes. The latter was expected to make the shift from 10nm to 7nm quite a while back, but bad yields and shortage have kept the company on its toes. Now a report from Oregon Live has confirmed that Intel is planning to expand its Oregon factory to accommodate the increasing silicon demand.

INtel factory

As per sources, this new factory will aid the company’s efforts in migrating to the 7nm node. Senior vice president and general manager of Manufacturing and Operations, Dr. Ann Kelleher announced in December 2018 that the company was “in the early planning phase for manufacturing site expansions in Oregon, Ireland, and Israel.” That seems to line up this latest chunk of information.

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These expansions won’t get rid of Intel’s present chip shortages, but they should provide a sense of security in the future when the company’s 7nm processors finally debut. The Oregon fabrication plant is expected to run in billions of dollars and will be counted among the largest capital projects in Oregon history. Intel says its factory expansion will enable it to respond 60 percent faster to chip shortages.

Intel 7nm

Intel was vague regarding the finer details, including the project’s exact size and schedule. The chipmaker has recently submitted construction permitting applications but that’s about it.

Sources say that Intel plans to begin construction by the second quarter of 2019, but there’s a big caveat, the company’s plans remain contingent on unspecified business and economic factors.

D1X Mod 3

  • What it is: The third phase, or module, of Intel’s massive D1X research factory. Intel develops each new class of microprocessor there, then duplicates the manufacturing process at factories around the world. Intel will also add a support building with utilities and other manufacturing services, and more parking.
  • Where it is: Ronler Acres is south of Highway 26 near Hillsboro Stadium. The expansion is on the southeast corner of Intel’s property, near Northeast Shute Road and Northeast Butler Street.
  • Size: Intel hasn’t specified but it appears to be about equal in size to each of D1X’s first two phases, 1.1 million square feet apiece.
  • When it starts: Intel says it plans to begin construction this year, contingent on market and economic factors.
  • Impacts: Intel says a new traffic signal on Shute and a new right-turn lane from Northeast Brookwood Parkway onto Northeast Evergreen Parkway will mitigate traffic impacts from the project. The company says it will install new fencing and walls to shield the finished factory from the neighborhood.

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