What's Going On At The Arizona Intel Site?

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The Oregonian speculates “Intel activity slows in Arizona amid slack demand“.

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.

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Former Intel Employee Gets 3 Years Of Prison

From the Associated Press article “Ex-Intel Worker Gets 3 years for stealing Secrets

A former Intel Corp. worker in Massachusetts has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for stealing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of computer chip manufacturing and design secrets while working for a rival company.

I think he was working at Intel when he was hired by AMD and that’s when he started downloading internal documents. He may have had the idea to sell the documents to AMD but AMD said they didn’t put him up to it and had nothing to do with it.

Motorola's 52nd Street Plant Still A Superfund Site

My parents didn’t work at the 52nd street Motorola plant (now a superfund site), built in 1956 near 48th Street and McDowell Road in Pheonix, Az but I think my Grandfather did. The EPA is still testing near the site nearly 30 year later.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials told about 15 residents at a community meeting Wednesday that their preliminary test results from some spots in the Lindon Park neighborhood, near 48th Street and McDowell Road, show some soil samples had unsafe levels of two industrial cleaning chemicals.

The chemicals were used at the former Motorola plant years ago to clean machinery and other equipment.

EPA scientists said the risk to residents’ health probably was small, but they believe they need to test for chemicals inside some homes to be sure.

“The kinds of soil vapor or the soil gas concentrations that we’re seeing do not lead us to believe that you would have the kinds of levels or exposure that would cause extreme health effects,” said Gerald Hiatt, an EPA toxicologist. “We may have some exposures inside homes that are high enough to create a (health) risk over long-term exposure, but I would be very, very surprised if we saw exposures that would create acute health effects.”

The neighborhood is the focus of an EPA Superfund monitoring and cleanup effort that has been under way for more than 20 years.

Apparently there was chemical tank that leaked into the soil in the 1980. It doesn’t surprise me from what I heard from my parents and what I saw working at electronic companies in the early 1990’s in Arizona. Companies were not that concerned about such safety issues.

Motorola's 52nd Street PlantThe factory is now owned by On Semiconductor. It’s been remodeled and I couldn’t find any pictures of what the factory originally looked like except one on the semiconductor Museum’s page.

Corrales Doesn't Want Intel To Expand

Another approaching storm photo from the Intel parking lot

The Alibi summarizes the conflict between some who live in Corrales, NM and Intel in Rio Rancho, where Intel is asking for changes to it’s air permit.

It was standing room only at an Intel-facilitated meeting Monday, March 28. More than 75 people crowded into the Corrales Senior Center.

For years, residents have been saying emissions from the 4-million square-foot facility cause respiratory problems. The computer chip manufacturer’s neighbors have reported acrid-smelling air, burning eyes and noses, and what Lynne Kinis called the “Intel cough.” She and other Corrales residents are circulating a petition asking the state’s Environmental Department to deny the permit.

Intel has no immediate plans to expand, but Environmental Engineer Sarah Chavez said it’s not out of the question.

Intel Advertisement "The Chase Film"

Sometimes Intel does a good job with an advertisement, The Chase Film is on of them. Intel’s marketing speak for the film:

To build excitement around the 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor, Intel is launching an action-adventure video titled “The Chase.” The spot demonstrates the performance capabilities of the new processors by creating an action-movie style chase sequence that takes place through a wide variety of program windows on a computer desktop.

The highest rated comment:

If it happened on my computer she would probably end up in porno.

Intel Cancels Larrabee

An Intel blog updates on Intel’s graphic’s chip program and says Larabee is no longer. Anandtech has a good analysis of the blog.

Intel cancelled plans for a discrete Larrabee graphics card because it could not produce one that was competitive with existing GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA in current games. Why Intel lacked the foresight to stop from even getting to this point is tough to say. The company may have been too optimistic or genuinely lacked the experience in building discrete GPUs, something it hadn’t done in more than a decade. Maybe it truly was Pat Gelsinger’s baby.

I don’t know why Intel can’t make Larrabee happen but I am disappointed that Intel can’t be competitive with AMD and Nvidia.

Green2V: Non Existence Solar Company To Build Big Ass Factory In Rio Rancho

http://www.krqe.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=7267

Governor Richardson was with Mayor Tom Swisstack of Rio Rancho today to announce that Green2V will build a million square-foot factory and headquarters in Rio Rancho. With Advent Solar and Schott AG building solar factories in Albuquerque, I wondered when one would build in Rio Rancho.

I have a number of concerns about this company, primarily that the company doesn’t seem to exist. As far as I can tell the privately owned Green2V doesn’t have any buildings or even a website and Wikipedia doesn’t have a page for them. The companies CEO, Bill Sheppard, is a former Intel New Mexico manager. Convenient since I suspect a large number of Green2V employees will come from the Intel New Mexico site. I don’t know where they are getting their money to build this company, what experience they have or what their business plan is.

The only thing I know is that their ambitious plan involves building in downtown Rio Rancho and that they want to start shipping in 2011. I hope this works out.

Update: Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting this is some sort of scam. I really want this to work out and I may even want to work for Green2V. I’m suggesting it’s a little early to get excited. It could turn out like Tesla, Lions Gate or Signet Solar, all established companies that planned to build in the Albuquerque area and didn’t for one reason or another.