Intel expands its Oregon factory with $3 billion investment as it aims to accelerate chip development
Intel has been on a roll when it comes to expanding and growing the scope of its operations. Today, Intel inaugurated the latest expansion of its Oregon factory called D1X, and announced a new name for it – it’s now known as Gordon Moore Park. The investment cost over $3 billion and it’s been in development for the past three years.
The expansion project, also known as Mod3, adds a massive 270,000 square feet of clean room space to allow Intel to develop various technologies in different stages of development. The extra space allows development to happen more quickly, so it should help with some of the roadmap delays we’ve seen from Intel over the years. For some context, that area is bigger than four American football fields combined, all in a single clean room.
While this expansion project had been underway for a few years, the opening of the new factory lines up perfectly with Intel’s IDM 2.0 strategy that was announced last year. After Pat Gelsinger took over as CEO of the company, Intel announced it would be shifting from building its own chips, but also manufacturing them for other companies, while also allowing others to manufacture some of its own designs. Along with that, the company wants to significantly ramp up its production and development capabilities. We’ve seen Intel announce a new Ohio factory, which will represent an investment of at least $20 billion, and another $36 billion is being invested in multiple factories across Europe.
Among the many innovations Intel is working on, the company highlights RibbonFET, a new transistor architecture – and the first new one in over a decade – as well as the industry’s first use of High-NA EUV lithography. This is all leading up to what Intel has called the Angstrom era; an Angstrom is a tenth of a nanometer, and that’s how processor dies will be measured in the next few years. Intel’s latest processors are still based on Intel 7, which is its latest 10nm architecture. Intel 4 is next, and processors will keep getting smaller. Factories like this are meant to help accelerate that process.
If you’re wondering why the Oregon factory is now called Gordon Moore Park, it’s named after the Intel co-founder who predicted that the number of transistors that can fit in a micro-chip would double roughly every year. This prediction is known today as Moore’s Law, and the purpose of this Oregon factory is precisely to keep driving that prediction.
The newly-rebranded Gordon Moore Park is the core of Intel’s technology development, where new architectures, processes, and packaging technologies are developed. It’s now nearly 500 acres in size and employs about 10,000 people.