An older Intel flash memory factory in New Mexico will be shut down later this year, and up to 1,000 people could be looking for work as a result.
The plant, one of two factories Intel operates in Rio Rancho, N.M., makes flash memory chips based on 135-nanometer manufacturing technology. Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy told InfoWorld that the company wants to make its flash memory division profitable, and cutting older technology from the ranks is one way to make that happen. Intel and Micron announced last week that they are sampling flash memory chips built using 50-nanometer manufacturing technology.
About 1,500 employees in total work at Fab 11, the flash memory plant. A processor plant on the same site currently makes chips using the 90-nanometer generation of manufacturing technology, but is being converted for the upcoming 45-nanometer generation. The numbers assigned to the manufacturing technology generation refer to the average size of features on the chip, and smaller is better in this game.