Intel's Chandler Plant Has An Explosion

Reuters “Blast at Intel microchip plant injures 7

The blast of undetermined origin occurred shortly after 2 p.m. local time at one of two large Intel campuses in Chandler, Arizona, just southeast of the state capital, said Chandler Fire Department Battalion Chief Brad Miller

AZCentral “Intel workers hurt as substance ignites at Chandler plant

Seven Intel employees were injured Tuesday afternoon when a substance ignited in a chemical-storage room at the company’s Ocotillo campus, Chandler Fire Chief Jeff Clark said.

“It was not an explosion as much as an ignition of something; we do not know what,” Clark said.

Phoenix Business Journal “Intel plant explosion in Chandler injures 7

Chandler Fire Department spokesman Brad Miller said the department responded to a call shortly after 2 p.m. about an explosion in a support room for the Fab 22 facility at 4500 S. Dobson Road in Chandler.

Miller said one victim was transported immediately to Maricopa Medical Center with severe burns. Three others were transported to Chandler Regional Hospital with less severe injuries. Three others were treated and released on site. None of the injuries are considered to be life-threatening.

Several hundred workers from Fab 22 and neighboring Fab 32 were evacuated after the explosion, but as of 3:30 p.m., firefighters had safely cleared the building. The Chandler Fire Department now is assessing if there is any continued risk in the cleanup process.

Production has stopped at Fabs 22 and 32, but continues at the nearby Fab 12.

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ArsTechnica On Intel Making Batteries

I love ArsTechnica, but I have to question part of an article that Jon Stokes wrote today about Intel making car batteries.

I bring this up because Intel doesn’t actually make as many chips over here as they used to. Most of the company’s sales are overseas (Asia is the biggest market), so that’s where a large and growing percentage of its workforce is, as well. The company’s pronounced shift in moving jobs abroad has been a sore spot for American Intel employees over the past decade, but I hear that, internally, the Intel top brass makes no bones about the fact that they have no qualms about moving the plants closer to the customers.

I am employed by Intel in the manufacturing side of their business. I don’t pretend that I know everything that is going on but I’m pretty sure this part of the article is incorrect. Most of Intel’s manufacturing is in the United States with the rest in Ireland and Israel. The only Asian capacity is in China and it hasn’t finished construction.

I also don’t know anything about Intel replacing manufacturing capacity in the US with factories outside of the US. My opinion: It costs billions of dollars to build a factory, Intel isn’t about to move capacity from existing locations to overseas unless there’s economic reasons to do so and highly skilled worker base. Just because the customers are there doesn’t seem like a good enough reason.

As far as Intel making batteries? I have to agree with the rest of the article. It’s better if Intel invest in battery tech R&D rather than try it themselves. Not that I wouldn’t love to see Intel broaden out in other ventures. Intel has failed at every attempt to make non microchip businesses (see LCOS and the watches they made that I can’t find a link to) as profitable as chips and top management knows that.