Intel to invest $3.5B in New Mexico fab upgrade, boosting US chipmaking

From CNET: Intel on Monday plans to announce a $3.5 billion upgrade to a chip manufacturing plant in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. That spending, combined with $20 billion to build two new facilities in Arizona, is part of a major effort by the chipmaker to rejuvenate its manufacturing.

The chipmaker on Sunday confirmed the $3.5 billion upgrade plan, first reported on CBS' 60 Minutes. Intel manufacturing chief Keyvan Esfarjani will detail the plan at a press conference with New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico's two senators, Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján, and Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, Intel said.

Intel is happy with current political efforts to drum up federal funding to help the US chip industry. New CEO Pat Gelsinger said Intel will invest more of its own money, too, instead of spending it on buying its own stock -- a move that keeps shareholders happy but that doesn't help research or operations.

"We will not be anywhere near as focused on buybacks going forward as we have in the past," Gelsinger told 60 Minutes. "That's been reviewed as part of my coming into the company, agreed upon with the board of directors."

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