| KIRYAT GAT, Israel, July 1
KIRYAT GAT, Israel, July 1 Intel Corp. (INTC.O)
inaugurated a new chip manufacturing plant in Israel on Tuesday,
which is expected to boost the Jewish state's gross domestic
product by 2 percent, a senior company official said.
Intel's second facility in the southern town of Kiryat Gat
cost the company $3.5 billion, and when fully operational in
September it will have a daily output of $10 million, the
general manager of Intel Israel, Maxine Fassberg, said.
Fassberg would not comment on how the company's increased
production capacity would affect the world chip market, but said
the plant would have a significant impact on the local economy.
"We will have around 1,900 Intel employees and ... when we
are in full production, we will change Israel's GDP by 2
percent," said Fassberg, who is also a vice president at Intel.
Intel has been operating in Israel for more than 30 years
and is the largest foreign company in the country, with a number
of plants and research and development centres.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was instrumental in
arranging state funding when he was trade and industry minister
and then finance minister, said at the ceremony that the
government's investment in the project was worthwhile.
Olmert said Israel would continue to seek foreign investors
to boost the economy.
"We will help them. They will help us. We will build a
stable economy, provide jobs, develop towns, create security,
peace and bring hope to the people of Israel," Olmert added.
Fab 28 is Intel's third plant worldwide capable of making
processors with circuitry just 45 nanometres wide, the next step
in shrinking chips from the 65 nanometre processor that is the
current industry standard.
The new technology allows the production of computer chips
that are far more energy efficient and is aimed mainly at
building ultra-low-powered processors for mobile Internet,
consumer electronic devices and low-cost personal computers.
Fab 28 replaces Fab 8, Intel's long-standing plant in
Jerusalem and the first ever built outside the U.S.
The Fab 8 plant stopped chip production earlier this year.
The Fab 18 plant, which is adjacent to Fab 28, has been
taken over by Numonyx, a flash memory joint venture that Intel
owns with STMicroelectronics (STM.PA)(STM.N) and Francisco
Numonyx will make flash memory for devices such as mobile
phones, MP3 players, digital cameras and computers.
(1 nanometre = 1 millionth of a millimetre)