Intel secures development to produce new generation chip

Thursday 24 May 2012 16.22
Development secures future of hundreds of jobs at Leixlip plant
Development secures future of hundreds of jobs at Leixlip plant

Intel's plant in Leixlip, Co Kildare, is one of three worldwide that the company has chosen to produce its future generation of chips.

The development secures the future of hundreds of jobs at the plant, and is likely to lead to the creation of thousands of temporary construction jobs when investment takes place.

Last year, Intel announced a $500m upgrade of its Fab 14 plant in anticipation of a new production line being installed there.

However, since then Intel Ireland has been locked in a competition with other Intel plants worldwide, in a bid to win new investment.

The breakthrough came almost two weeks ago when Intel President, Paul Ottelini, told investors in California that Ireland, along with Arizona and Oregon, would be one of three new manufacturing bases for next generation 14 nanometer chips, or their successors.

Intel Ireland confirmed that Ireland is now on the parent company's so called "roadmap" for the production of future generation or generations of chips.

But it declined to say how soon the investment would take place, how much it would be worth or how many jobs were likely to be created as a result. It also cautioned that such plans can be subject to change.

Over 4,000 staff are currently employed at the Intel Leixlip campus, and a further 200 work at its Research and Development arm in Shannon, Co Clare.

Intel has not invested in producing a new technology in Leixlip since 2004.

RTÉ News understands that a new production line would involve an investment of in excess of €1bn.

It is also understood that such an investment would see hundreds of employees, who moved from Leixlip to Intel facilities in the US to receive training in new processes, return to run the new facility in Leixlip.

Many other employees, who stayed in Ireland to upskill and retrain after Fab 14 closed, are also likely to be involved in the project.

In addition, sources said new investment could lead to fresh graduate recruitment, although it is not yet known how many new positions would be on offer or in what areas.

Several thousand construction jobs are also likely to be created while old Fabs are prepared and fitted with the new machinery, a process likely to last around two years.

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