Intel Hillsboro’s New Cutting Edge Device Poised To Reinforce Firm’s Ascendency In Chip-Making Industry

HILLSBORO, Ore. —  A first-of-its-kind cutting-edge tool developed at the Intel Research and Development (R&D) facility in Hillsboro is expected to advance the development of semiconductors while entrenching Intel and Oregon as industry leaders in chip technology for years to come. The advances follow recent federal funding intended to produce chips in the U.S. and keep jobs local.


Intel’s New Scanner From Hillsboro R&D Plant

A massive device- called a high numerical aperture extreme ultraviolet lithography scanner (High NA EUV), has been assembled at Intel’s Hillsboro campus, according to their announcement on Thursday. The $350 million machine was developed by the Dutch company ASML.

Intel said the machine will deliver precision and scalability never seen before in chip manufacturing. The firm will now be in a position to develop chips with the most innovative features and capabilities that are crucial in driving advancements in AI and other emerging technologies. In producing faster and more efficient computer chips, the new lithography tool will enable the company to create extremely small lines to guide the chip’s circuitry.

Because Intel’s health can act as a bellwether for Oregon’s semiconductor industry, economists predict thousands of jobs in the state can be added over the next decade, bringing other financial benefits to Oregon, for example, an increase in tax revenue. But they warn that Intel has some catching up to do.

Intel was central to the development of the previous major innovation in chip-making tools but didn’t adopt the resource. Other major international chip firms did, emerging as leaders in semiconductors for the rapidly expanding AI field. Intel leaders seem determined not to get left behind again when it comes to the newest and best chipmaking technology, committing over $30 billion to upgrading its Oregon facilities.


Hillsboro Jobs And Economy To Benefit From Technology Advancements

Headquartered in California, the company’s main research and development site is situated in Hillsboro. With over 20,000 workers, Intel is Oregon’s largest private employer. A partner and senior economist at Portland-based consulting and research firm ECOnorthwest,

Mike Wilkerson, has followed Oregon’s semiconductor and high-tech industries- sometimes referred to as the “silicon forest,” for over a decade. He confirmed that research- and the use of state-of-the-art technological tools, could have an economic effect beyond the walls of the company. He said, “You’re continuously engaging the broader economy beyond just the local semiconductor space.”

According to Wilkerson, staying at the technological forefront means building more facilities. This, in turn, stimulates the local construction sector while high-skilled workers also need to be hired, trained, and retained. The higher-income individuals pay larger personal income tax, which generates more broad-based benefits.

State economists are also watching the health of the semiconductor industry, making projections for job growth in Oregon. Gail Krumenauer, Oregon State Employment Economist said in March the number of Oregonians- over 33,500, employed in the industry is expected to grow by around 3,000 jobs over the next eight years.

The substantial infusion of federal and state funding to Intel in recent years has helped the chipmaker regain its top position, a stated goal of the funding. Hoping that the success of companies like Intel will bring overseas semiconductor jobs in manufacturing back to the U.S., Oregon lawmakers approved millions in funding to Intel, to grow and upgrade facilities in the state.

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