An article in the Albuquerque Journal “Intel’s N.M. future” looks at the Intel Rio Rancho site’s comparison to other state and it’s possibility of building out to support Intel’s latest technology.
Now, with Moore’s law still pushing Intel to double down, or perhaps double up, on the number of transistors it crams onto each chip, New Mexico is vying for the next round of investment in factory upgrades to produce smaller transistors, measured in nanometers.
The plant was last upgraded in 2009 to go from 45-nanometer transistors on chips to 32 nanometers. But that means today Rio Rancho is two cycles behind the curve, since Intel is already producing 22-nanometer chips at other factories, and the company is building manufacturing capacity for 14-nanometer chips at its plants in Arizona and Ireland.
“The next node is 10 nanometer, and no decision has been made yet about where that will be,” said Kirby Jefferson, who became Intel’s Rio Rancho site manager in May. “New Mexico could be 10 nanometers, but next after that is seven nanometers, and maybe New Mexico could be the place for that.”
Another article on the Albuquerque Journal “Intel’s RR plant still viable” that came out at the same time wonders what if Intel’s New Mexico site doesn’t get any new technology.
It’s a question that surfaces in conversations at coffee shops and board rooms in the Albuquerque metropolitan area: Will Intel Corp. invest in upgrades at its plant in Rio Rancho to produce next-generation technology or, as the chips it now produces here become older and less useful, will the Rio Rancho factory wither up and go away?
But the man now running the show in Rio Rancho, site manager Kirby Jefferson, says that kind of talk is premature, because even without upgrades for newer technology, the plant will have plenty of work for years to come.
North Hills is plastered with them. They’re on the sidewalks. They’re in the parks. They’re even in your front yard! And that’s not the dangerous part about this herd of 8 or 9 cows.
“When you’re driving along the road and they just come popping out of the arroyo or something, it’s bad,” said North Hills homeowner Edward Kisner. “There’s cars going both ways. One will swerve into the other one’s lane. I’ve had close calls where I’ve almost made ground beef!”
We found the cattle shading themselves beneath a scrawny-looking juniper tree on the open range right next to the subdivision. Open range means the owner of the cattle doesn’t have to fence them in, It’s up to other property owners to fence them out – and North Hills is not exactly a walled fortress.