If you needed concrete proof that we should all be amazed at just how quickly things change in the technology world, look no further. In 2009, Intel
proudly boasted that it would spend around $7 billion to build a massive fabrication facility in Arizona. In the years since, the PC market has essentially been told that it's dying (and soon), and chip makers such as Intel face little choice but to either revert to the mobile bandwagon or create some sort of additional revenue driver given that laptop and desktop sales are going to slowly decline for the foreseeable future.
The "Fab 42" facility
, which was constructed in Chandler, Arizona, is now going to "remain closed while other factories at the same site are upgraded." That's according to an Intel spokesperson, further stating that "the new construction is going to be left vacant for now and it will be targeted at future technologies." Intel has still managed to hire over 1,000 people at the plant since construction began in 2011, which triggered a state tax benefit for Intel.
Why the change in heart? "It boils down to better capital utilization," according to Intel. Translated, that likely means that using it for its initial purpose -- building chips for conventional computers -- now seems less wise. There's less demand and less need, and Intel needs to retool its thinking in order to make better use of its space
. The upside is that the floor is now open, and we're hoping that Intel does something impressive once this all gets sorted.