Intel Starts to Install Tools at Ireland-based Fab 34

Intel started to roll in its first chip-making tool in its US$7 Ireland wafer fabrication facility –Fab 34.

The machine, a lithography resist track was airborne from Intel’s Oregon plant all the way through Atlantic Ocean to Ireland airport and then was carried by trucks to the Leixlip facility.

The new lithography tool runs in conjunction with an extreme ultraviolet EUV scanner, a crown jewel in Intel’s manufacturing capability to coat silicon wafer precisely before the wafer is aligned and exposed inside the EUV scanner.

The wafer then is carried back to lithography tool for a series of precision oven baking, photo development and rinsing.

An Intel team guides a lithography resist track into Fab 34 in Leixlip, Ireland, on Jan. 12, 2022. It is the first chipmaking tool delivered to Fab 34, which is part of a $7 billion construction project that will double Intel Ireland’s manufacturing space when it goes online in 2023. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

The Ireland fab facility, of which construction started in 2019, is scheduled to come online in 2023, churning out a 4nm circuitry chip.

Intel’s Ireland fab expansion project is part of its global factory build-out to satisfy burgeoning chip demand. Intel is now investing tens of billions of dollars to build up new manufacturing infrastructures in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Malaysia.

Intel has a more ambitious plan, too. It is to announce additional plant sites in the U.S. and Europe.