More Bad News For The Intel New Mexico Site

Nothing To See Here - Baghdad Bob
Nothing To See Here - Baghdad Bob
Nothing To See Here – Baghdad Bob

From the Albuquerque Journal “Intel RR loses next-generation investment

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.

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Intel Is Spending 6 Billion In Israel, Nothing In New Mexico

There’s been rumor upon rumor that Intel will eventually shut down the Intel site in New Mexico. Its just a rumor but news from Reutes doesn’t help ”
Intel submits plan for nearly $6 bln Israel chip plant upgrade

Chip giant Intel Corp submitted a plan to Israel’s government to invest 20 billion shekels ($5.8 billion) in upgrading its plant in southern Israel, the Economy Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry said it promised Intel it would work to expedite bureaucratic procedures as much as possible to develop and promote employment in the country’s south.

As part of the investment, Intel would receive a government grant that Israeli media estimated at about 1 billion shekels.

The 1 billion shekels (or 289 million dollars) probably helps. Also note that Intel built the a brand new fab 42 factory in Arizona and it’s apparently going to stay empty for the time being.

Intel To Cut About 5000 Jobs Company Wide

From reuters “Intel to reduce global workforce by five percent in 2014

Intel Corp plans to reduce its global workforce of 107,000 by about 5 percent this year as the chipmaker, struggling with falling personal-computer sales, shifts focus to faster-growing areas, a company spokesman said on Friday.

The announcement, equivalent to over 5,000 positions, comes a day after Intel posted a fourth-quarter earnings report that did little to dispel concerns about a slowing PC industry.

“This is part of aligning our human resources to meet business needs,” spokesman Chris Kraeuter told Reuters on Friday.

The job reductions may include early retirement, attrition and other options, Kraeuter added. He declined to say whether details of the changes had been announced internally.

I predict more layoffs and not just in New Mexico and it sounds like they will be in the first quarter of 2014.

In its report on Thursday, Intel forecast March-quarter restructuring charges of $200 million, a portion of which could be earmarked for severance pay.

What's The Future Of The Intel New Mexico Site

Intel outside by cjc4454 on flickr
Intel outside by cjc4454 on flickr
Intel outside by cjc4454 on flickr

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.

Orthodox Jews Demonstrate Against Intel

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AMD isn’t the only one that dislikes Intel. Some Jewish persons don’t like Intel too..

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews have demonstrated at Intel Corp’s new electronic chip plant in Israel in protest against work taking place at the site on the Jewish sabbath.

The protesters said on Saturday it was a desecration of the Sabbath, which runs from Friday night to Saturday night.

They were dispersed by police and a company spokesman said the plant was operating within the law and would continue to do so.

Intel, the world’s biggest chip manufacturer, opened the west Jerusalem plant for installation work before its inauguration on Sunday.

Where these people don’t like Intel for religious reasons, some in Coralles, New Mexico think Intel is poisoning them.

Please understand that the new chemicals that are being used up there are causing illnesses as serious as we had in the 1990s. Vison is blurred, eyes are burning and skin is peeling off the eylids. One breath of the toxic air causes choking, coughing and in Patricia’s case gasping for air. The toxins collect in her west side patio and in her house. With me it settles all around my property and comes in the house. This morning my eyes were swollen shut and inflamed I could hardly see. Each day my vision seems to be getting worse

I should note that the State of New Mexico cleared Intel of making people sick in 2004 but that decision was very controversial.

Article On Intel's Fab 11X Construction In Rio Rancho New Mexico

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New Mexico Business Weekly has an article on Intel’s Fab 11X build out. This is the factory I work for.

When Intel Corp. finishes upgrading its chip-making factory in Rio Rancho next year, it will operate one of the world’s largest clean rooms.

The company started a $2.5 billion upgrade to its Fab 11X manufacturing complex early this year to produce Intel’s next generation, 32 nanometer chip technology. The new chips are smaller and faster and consume less energy than Intel’s current 45 nanometer chip technology.

When the upgrade is complete, Fab 11X will include 400,000-square-feet of clean room space, said Tim Hendry, vice president of the Intel Technology Manufacturing Group and the Fab 11X plant manager.

“It will be the largest clean room operated by Intel globally, and one of the largest in the world in general,” Hendry said. “The corridor that runs along the outside edge of the clean room is a quarter-mile long.”

Sometimes I have to walk the distance of that factory frequently. It’s a good way to get exercise. Read the whole article at New Mexico Business Weekly.

1000 People To Be Laid Off At Intel Rio Rancho Plant

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Intel Corp. said Tuesday that it expects to cut more than 1,000 jobs at its Rio Rancho plant as the company ends production of an older silicon wafer technology. Intel will stop making the 200-millimeter wafers at the plant by the end of August, and affected employees will be offered severance packages or can apply for other jobs within the company, spokesman Jami Grindatto said.

Anyone who works at the Intel Rio Rancho plant knew this was coming. I know a large number of people that have been waiting to for a chance to get out with a severance package. Still, this sucks. One fifth (20%) of the people that work at this plant will be gone wether they like it or not.

The AP article doesn’t mention when Intel expect to have everyone out but this KOB article say they start in August.

A article from the Albuquerque Tribune says:

Larry Waldman, a senior economist with the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, projects the layoffs expected to come in August could cause the loss of another 1,000 jobs in places such as the retail and service sectors. “It’s not going to be just 1,000 jobs when you look at effects on other parts of the economy,” said Waldman, referring to retail and service jobs that might supplement Intel workers. While that may not be the rosiest picture, Waldman said the losses will have only a minor impact on the economies of both the state and Albuquerque metro

Update 5/7/07: From the Trib:

U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici has asked Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to assign staff from her agency’s Dallas office to coordinate job placement programs for the 1,000-plus workers expected to lose their jobs at Intel Corp.’s Rio Rancho plant.