The deal, which was announced by GT in a regulatory filing Monday afternoon, is seen as a coup for Arizona, drawing excitement and praise from Gov. Jan Brewer, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and a variety of economic-development officials.
Not even a year later the whole thing has fallen apart with GT Advanced Technologies filing for bankruptcy and laying off 727 people from the plant. I can’t help think about those people and how excited they must have been when the plant first opened and how shitty they feel today. I wonder if Tim Cook and the other managers at Apple are also thinking about these people loosing their jobs.
GT called it’s contract with Apple “oppressive and burdensome”. It makes me think that Apple is used to making whatever demands they want of Chinese companies and the Chinese companies get as much slave labor as needed to get done what ever Apple requests. GT was unable to respond like a Chinese company.. This could be bad for American manufacturing. Apple should be making their parts in America, but will they even try to work with another American company? Will another American company want to work with Apple? Will anyone learn anything from this?
I interviewed to work at GT in February of this year. I was not offered a job because I was unable pick up and move to Arizona immediately. I suspect I would have been offered a job as I think I was well qualified. I guess I could say that I was lucky I didn’t get laid off twice in one year. I don’t feel lucky, I just feel bad about the whole situation and everyone that is loosing their job.
Intel Corp.’s plant in Rio Rancho has been passed over again for next-generation nanometer chip technology, but the plant is still an integral part of the company’s global production chain, New Mexico site manager Kirby Jefferson told the Albuquerque Economic Forum on Wednesday morning.
“This site was not selected for the 10 nanometer chips, that’s for certain,” Kirby said. “They will do it at other facilities. Seven nanometer is the next one, and we still don’t know where that will be.”
This is the third time New Mexico has been passed over for next-generation chip technology. The Rio Rancho site currently produces 32-nanometer chips, following a $2.5 billion investment in 2009 to upgrade the plant from 45-nanometer technology.
Now, being three cycles behind the curve makes it more difficult to compete for next-generation chips.
“The investment would have to be extremely high here, because we’re so far behind,” Kirby said.
The New Mexico Intel site hasn’t had the latest upgrades in 3 generations and the longer it goes without getting those upgrades the harder it is to get future upgrades. It seems to spell doom for the Intel New Mexico site.
“The New Mexico plant is front and center with what’s going on at Intel,” he said. “Intel is committed to this community. The thinking all the way up the chain is to keep this operation going.”
Call me skeptical. If I was a highly skilled worker at this site I would certainly see doom and gloom and I would be shopping my skills elsewhere, further adding to the decline of the site. If I recall correctly, when Intel was producing the Sandy Bridge processor the Intel New Mexico site was supposedly providing the majority of income to the whole Intel corporation buy producing the majority of those chips while the other sites were ramping up Haswell.
It feels as if the Intel management has kick the Intel New Mexico site to the curb.
The chip giant received $3.3 million in state tax credits from Arizona for creating about 1,000 new permanent jobs with Fab 42, the Arizona Republic noted in a report breaking the news that the facility has been put on permanent hiatus.
Intel has in fact kept its end of that deal, adding more than 1,000 new workers to its payroll in the state—they just work at other Intel manufacturing facilities in the area, according to Mulloy.
Intel is painting its decision not to open Fab 42 as a simple matter of finding a more efficient means of getting to 14nm production at existing facilities. But it’s hard not to see the impact of a slumping PC market on this development—Gartner recently characterized the double-digit drop in PC shipments in 2013 as the “worst decline in PC market history.”
The company has slowed the installation of production tools at its nearly complete, $5 billion Fab 42 near Phoenix (a fab is the industry’s term for a chip factory), according to Intel suppliers and contractors in Oregon.
These personnel, who asked not to be identified because of their relationship with Intel, say some tools appear to be idle in Arizona. Other tools have been redirected to the new D1X research fab in Hillsboro, which opens its first, $3 billion phase late this year.
When Intel announced plans to build Fab 42 two years ago, it said the Arizona facility would be complete in 2013. That’s still the timeline, according to corporate spokesman Chuck Mulloy — but he wouldn’t say when the facility will begin making high volumes of chips.
“There are certain customers that would be interesting to us and certain customers that wouldn’t,” Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith told journalists after an investor event in London on Thursday.
He said Intel would be happy to produce chip cores based on its own architecture for other companies but that allowing rival architectures to be manufactured in its plants would be a tough decision.
“If Apple or Sony came to us and said ‘I want to do a product that involves your IA (Intel architecture) core and put some of my IP around it’, I wouldn’t blink. That would be fantastic business for us.”