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Intel Invests Up to $1.5B in N.M. Fab

Its 45-nanometer process goes to four factories strong.

Intel (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation (INTC) Report will invest $1 billion to $1.5 billion in its Rio Rancho, N.M., site to retool its Fab 11X factory for production of the company's next-generation 45-nanometer manufacturing process.

Fab 11X will be the company's fourth factory scheduled to use the 45-nm process, with production in New Mexico scheduled to start in the second half of next year.

"Our new 45 nanometer process represents one of the most significant manufacturing breakthroughs in decades and we believe that putting it in our factory in New Mexico will help us deliver the best possible products for our customers," said Paul Otellini, Intel's president and CEO.

Initial production of Intel's 45-nm products will be done at its Oregon development fab. The company is building two other factories that will use the 45-nm process: The $3 billion Fab 32 in Chandler, Ariz., will commence production late this year, and the $3.5 billion Fab 28 in Kiryat Gat, Israel, will begin production the first half of next year.

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Fab 11X in Rio Rancho currently manufactures 90-nm computer chips on 300-mm wafers. Fab 11X began production in October 2002 and was Intel's first 300-mm, or 12-inch, high-volume manufacturing facility.