Later today, Intel's CEO Pat Gelsinger will take part in a groundbreaking ceremony in Arizona. The special occasion marks the beginning of the construction of two new leading-edge chip fabs on land at Intel's Ocotillo campus in Chandler, Arizona. This is the same place where Intel Fab 42 is located, which became fully operational in 2020 and started rolling out Intel's most advanced 10nm products.
Mr Gelsinger and his shovel will be live-streamed on the Intel Newsroom at 9am PDT today (5pm in the UK), and he will probably be aided by various governmental and state officials with shiny shovels.
Setting up new chip fabs is an expensive business, and Intel is spending $20 billion on the two new production facilities in Arizona. One of the fabs will prepare for future advanced process capacity, while the other is dedicated for Intel's foundry services business. The chip fabs should start to become fully operational from about 2023; looking at the latest nodes roadmap, implies they might be purposed to produce 'Intel 3' processors and beyond.
The Arizona expansion looks set to be good for the local economy, as it is expected to create over 3,000 permanent high-wage, high-tech jobs; over 3,000 construction jobs; and approximately 15,000 local long-term jobs.
Semiconductor oversupply situation by 2023?
There is a surging global demand for semiconductor products and Intel set out its bold new IDM 2.0 strategy only a few months ago, so it is an achievement to be breaking ground on these new high-tech chip fabs today. However, there could be a fly in the ointment, as by 2023 some industry analysts reckon the semiconductor market might be facing oversupply problems. Earlier this week, IDC suggested this might happen as semiconductor makers race to quench the thirst of the market and to get greater capacity online. Sadly for them/shareholders, they all may reach the finish line at the same time (approx 2023).