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Intel opens 65-nanometer plant in Ireland

Its third such chip plant, the facility will help the company push ahead with a new line of multicore goods.

Intel has opened a third chip plant focused on 65-nanometer processes as it moves ahead with its latest array of multicore microprocessors.

The $2 billion factory, based in Leixlip, Ireland, gives the chip giant a wider lead at 65 nanometers. Intel was one of the first chipmakers to ship 65-nanometer chips late last year.

The nanometer measurements refer to the average size of the subcomponents of the millions of transistors that make up computer chips.

The new plant comes at a time when Intel is looking to regain its footing, with three new chips due this summer.

These microprocessors are expected to mark one of Intel's most significant product launches in the company's history. Intel will introduce its Intel Core 2 Duo processors for the desktop and notebook (formerly code-named Conroe and Merom, respectively). Intel also plans to introduce its dual-core Intel Xeon processor 5100 series (formerly code-named Woodcrest).

Rival Advanced Micro Devices, which has made a number of gains at Intel's expense recently, has yet to ship 65-nanometer chips.

"Our manufacturing capability is key to fueling Intel's success," Paul Otellini, Intel's chief executive, said in a statement.

Intel also operates 65-nanometer plants in Arizona and Oregon.

And chipmakers are already looking ahead to the advent of faster and more energy-efficient processors made using a 45-nanometer process. Intel, for one, says it is on track to ship such chips to manufacturers by the end of next year.