Intel sticks with German chip fab plans

Intel Corp. is standing by its plans to invest in a new semiconductor plant in eastern Germany, despite controversy plaguing the project. President and CEO Craig Barrett restated his support during a visit to Germany this weekend, a spokeswoman for the company’s local subsidiary, Intel GmbH, said Monday.

The chip fabrication plant (fab), which was officially launched in February, is supposed to produce chips on 200-millimetre diameter wafers for the wireless and broadband communications markets. Financing for the US$1.5-billion project, in the economically depressed city of Frankfurt an der Oder, has yet to be completed, however, and plummeting prices in the semiconductor market have raised new questions about its future.

Intel will only say that it is taking a stake of less than 25 per cent in the new enterprise, called Communicant Semiconductor Technologies AG. Other investors include the government-funded Institut f