While most businesses have been cutting expenses and scaling back projects in order to weather the current global recession, Intel has gone in the opposite direction and announced last month that they will be sinking $2.7 billion into its manufacturing plant in southern Israel that will produce the next generation of computer chips.
The company has been quiet about the technology other than saying that the chips are 22-nanometers in length, half the size of the current top-speed processers that are 45-nanometers in length. According to Intel Israel’s spokesperson Koby Bahar, the new chips “are the most advanced technology available”.
Bahar elaborated on the investment amount and said that the investment is for the purpose of upgrading the technology inside the plant used for production and would not be used to explain the physical size of the plant. He added that Intel is also expanding in the US and has spent $500 million to open a plant in Ireland.
The total amount also includes a large grant of $210 million from the Israeli government, who has consistently given Intel substantial monetary rewards for their work and achievements over the last 25 years since opening in Israel in 1974 in Haifa and then expanding to Jerusalem, Kiryat Gat, Yakum and Petah Tikva.
Employees are quite happy about the move as it means that the company has fared well throughout the recession as it is the main source of the world’s computer chips, producing about 80% of those chips that currently exist. In addition, Intel has decided to give all of the employees a $10,000 bonus for their work and will also hire 1,000 new employees this year.
As for the technology, Intel Israel has been developing the next generation of Atom processor, known as the Cedarview. In addition, the Israel branch has been developing a new method of high-speed data transfer called Light Peak, making it possible to transfer data via single wire. The transfer method is expected to result in thinner computers with fewer connections but a performance level higher than that of anything on currently on the market.