Intel invests $3.5B in N. Mexico chip expansion, atop Arizona plans

Intel will expand its Rio Rancho chipmaking facility outside Albuquerque, N.M. with a plant to build Foveros vertically stacked chip tiles. The investment is atop of the $20B planned for two fabs in Arizona. (Intel)

 

Intel on Monday announced an expansion of its semiconductor manufacturing savvy with a $3.5 billion investment in New Mexico, including an expansion at its Rio Rancho facility.

The spending comes atop an earlier announcement by CEO Patrick Gelsinger to invest $20 billion in two fabs in Arizona and creation of a new Intel Foundry Services for providing foundry capacity in the U.S and Europe.

RELATED: Intel plans two fabs in Arizona for $20B, more later

Intel has been a major proponent of the Biden administration’s effort to urge Congress to fund the CHIPS Act with $50 billion.

Rio Rancho is a suburb in the Albuquerque metro area. The expansion will create 700 high tech jobs and 1,000 construction jobs in Rio Rancho and support another 3,500 jobs statewide.  Construction is scheduled to start in late 2021.  Intel’s previous annual economic investment in New Mexico has been $1.2 billion.

One objective of the Rio Rancho expansion is to provide capabilities for making 3D Foveros chips. That technology allows vertical stacking of compute tiles, so that different die sizes can operate together to support diverse computing technologies.  Performance, power consumption and size are improved.

Such advanced packaging has been in demand, including through the U.S. Department of Defense SHIP program and a U.S. DARPA partnership with Intel.

RELATED: Defense awards for intel SHIP project now top $156M

The U.S. portion of global advanced packaging technologies is just 2%, said Jeff Rittener, chief of government affairs at Intel. The Semiconductor Industry Association, of which Intel and many chipmakers are a part. has lobbied Congress for greater government support of manufacturing, noting that U.S. factories produced 37% of global chips in 1990, a number now at 12% with only 9% by U.S. companies.