WASHINGTON - Computer chip maker Intel said Tuesday it would invest $7 billion over the next two years to build advanced US manufacturing plants using nanotechnology in the United States.
The world's largest chip maker said the investment was its largest to date for a new manufacturing process.
The funds will be invested in the company's 32-nanometer (nm) manufacturing technology "that will be used to build faster, smaller chips that consume less energy," the California-based firm said in a statement.
"We're investing in America to keep Intel and our nation at the forefront of innovation," said Intel president and chief executive Paul Otellini.
"These manufacturing facilities will produce the most advanced computing technology in the world. The capabilities of our 32nm factories are truly extraordinary, and the chips they produce will become the basic building blocks of the digital world, generating economic returns far beyond our industry."
The technology used in Intel's manufacturing process builds chip circuitry 32nm (32/billionths of a meter or about 1/millionth of an inch) across.
Intel said the investment would be made at existing manufacturing sites in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico and would support about 7,000 high-wage, high-skill jobs at those sites.
Intel noted that while more than 75 percent of its sales are overseas, roughly 75 percent of its semiconductor manufacturing occurs in the US, where some 75 percent of its research and development spending and capital investments are made.
The first Intel processors to be built using this technology are codenamed "Westmere" and will initially be used in desktop and mobile mainstream systems, it said.
Five days ago Intel announced it would shut down an assembly and test factory in Shanghai and move it to a city in China's far west in a cost-cutting move amid the global economic downturn.