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We've come a long way from the moment when a couple of engineers at Bell Laboratories named John Bardeen and Walter Brattain used paper clips and razor blades to make a rudimentary three-terminal device – the first so-called “point of contact” transistor. That was 1947. A couple of Nobel Prizes and a few more innovations (like the integrated circuit) and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Early Fairchild Semiconductor Planar Transistor. Soruce: The Computer History Museum

 

Today, Intel makes an estimated 10 billion transistors per second in the process of manufacturing hundreds of millions of chips a year at factories in the United States, Ireland, Israel and, soon, China. These are among the world’s most sophisticated modern factories making tangible things -- in this case the world's most complex machines with dimensions so small it takes a scanning electron microscope just to be able to see them.

 

Ironically, these tiny machines require huge capital investments and very large factories which, in the semiconductor business are called fabrication facilities or “fabs.” Intel just made a big announcement to build a new development fab in Oregon and upgrade several others in Oregon and Arizona to accommodate its next-generation 22 nanometer (nm) technology. But those facilities are only part of a global manufacturing network.

 

Click on the locations below to see and learn more about Intel’s global network of fabs.

3,682 Views Categories: Hardware, Future Now Tags: chip, fab, factory, moore's, law


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