Intel Opens World's First 300mm Research And Pathfinding Laboratory
HILLSBORO, Ore. - May 14, 2001 - Intel Corporation today opened the world's first 300mm wafer research laboratory. Named RP1 (RP stands for research and pathfinding), the $250 million facility is the first of its kind dedicated to research in advanced silicon process technologies on the new, larger 300mm wafers.
Intel researchers will use RP1 to develop next-generation photolithography, high-performance transistors, advanced interconnects (copper and optical) and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes (new materials and chemistries). This new facility will allow Intel researchers to continue to build the world's smallest and fastest transistors. Smaller transistors are faster, and fast transistors are the key building block for fast microprocessors, the brains of computers and countless other smart devices.
"Intel's technology teams are organized to move innovations efficiently through the stages of research, pathfinding, development and manufacturing," said Dr. Sunlin Chou, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group. "By building RP1 next to D1C, Intel now has all stages of its 300mm technology pipeline in place to drive the advancement of Moore's Law on a larger wafer size."
RP1 is home to Intel's Components Research Lab, part of Intel Labs. The group develops silicon technologies that are two to three generations ahead of Intel's current manufacturing processes.
This new research facility, which has a 56,000-square-foot cleanroom, is adjacent to Intel's D1C (a development fab) and high-volume manufacturing factory, Fab 20. RP1 will help Intel accelerate the process of taking ideas from the research phase into manufacturing. As a research and pathfinding facility, RP1 is different from Intel's development fabs. Pathfinding is a key crossover phase between research and development. Since RP1 supports 300mm wafers, it allows Intel engineers to share wafers between research and development. This allows Intel to accelerate the introduction of advanced technologies in future products, which will be manufactured at high-volume facilities.
"RP1 represents a unique capability in the industry," said Dr. Gerald Marcyk, director of Intel's Components Research Group. "We can conduct research both on a small scale in beakers and a large scale using batches of 300mm wafers - all in one lab."
Intel Labs, the research and development arm of Intel, is comprised of more than 6,000 researchers and scientists in labs around the world. The labs are structured in a "decentralized" manner, with significant internal research capabilities complemented by numerous external research programs with universities, government labs and industry consortia. This structure is different from traditional, centralized research labs, and allows Intel to tackle a broader range of research projects. The labs are also closely aligned with Intel's business units, which help Intel Labs develop technologies that address the needs of Intel's customers and consumers alike.
For more information on Intel silicon technology research, visit Intel's new Silicon Showcase at www.intel.com/research/silicon. For information on other Intel Labs' research projects, visit www.intel.com/labs.