Dollars & Details:
Intel made a major announcement about its intention to invest $7 billion in a new semiconductor plant, known as Fab 42, at Chandler, Arizona. The 3,000 jobs it intends to create is a big deal. The economic impact for Arizona is a big deal. (Intel is already among Arizona’s top 10 corporate employers. These new jobs will have very good pay and benefits.)
But, the impact on everyone in the world who uses computing devices is a much, much bigger deal!
The next big thing in computers is always about “better, smaller, faster.” Once completed around 2021, Fab 42 will be manufacturing among the most sophisticated and advanced chips in the world.
Chip density is the key here. The 7-nanometer measurement refers to the smallest average feature on a chip. The smaller the measurement, the more transistors that can be incorporated into a chip of given size. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. A 7-nano chip may be able to hold as many as 20 billion transistors in one small, energy-efficient package! That’s ten-times the transistors held on many of today’s more popular chips.
Trends and Theories:
Intel’s chips to be made in Arizona will move way beyond the 14-nanometer chips commonly produced today, and even beyond the latest 10-nanometer chips now entering production in many spots. These 7-nanometer chips will be so fast and so advanced that they can provide incredible power and efficiencies to the world’s most important data centers, sensors and computers, and will be critical in advancing such areas as artificial intelligence and medical research. In other words, this technology has the potential to make life better for everyone on Earth.
Ranks and Results:
A chip, also known as a processor, is the heart of computing devices, including smartphones and the electronics that run modern factories, research facilities and even automobiles and aircraft. Simply put, chips process information. The faster, the better.
All the information you need about the global wireless industry can be found at Plunkett Research, including our Computer & Software Industry Research Center online, and our just-published, completely-updated Plunkett’s InfoTech Industry Almanac, 2017 edition.