While Fab 42 will resemble its neighbour, it has an exact twin being built on Intel’s Oregon campus. This is an extension of Intel’s “copy exactly” strategy, where development work and methods are reproduced at the manufacturing site, enabling faster build-ups of production.
This modular construction approach will give Intel a further advantage over its rivals, according to Mr Hutcheson at VLSI Research.
“Intel has always applied ‘copy exactly’ to the tool sets and to the process but never to the fab itself. It’s the first time it’s ever been done by anyone, which means Intel will be able to ramp capacity faster than anyone else,” he says.