Inside the world's biggest chip shop

An exclusive look inside Intel's Vietnam Assembly and Testing facility.

By Juha Saarinen on May 21, 2012
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Behind the discrete facade lies Intel’s latest Assembly and Test plant in Saigon’s Hi Tech Park.
The scale of the plant which has a total area of 47 hectares is mind boggling.
Even the clean room where the chips are assembled is huge, at 4.6 hectares.
The offices of the Intel plant receive a third of their power from a solar panel array on the roof. With an output of 320,000kWh a year, Intel believes the solar panel array is the largest such installation in South East Asia.
At the plant, dies cut from wafers are assembled into chips and tested.
Intel works with the Vietnamese government to ensure it receives a steady supply of qualified workers at all levels up to graduates.
English is a key requirement for all Intel staff, and remains a problem for the chip giant’s recruitment effort in Vietnam.
Testing the chips before shipment is a very important part of the assembly process.
Assembling chips is a painstaking process that requires extreme accuracy to avoid flaws.
Nobody at Intel has an office, but how they find their way in and out of massive cubicle labyrinths is impossible to understand.
We had free access to large areas of the plant, running into busy workers who nevertheless had time for a chat - and a game of billiards.
Workers can access a range of perks from Intel such as help with education, subsidised food and a chill-out room at the plant.
The Intel plant is currently operating at a mere ten per cent capacity. Fully operational, it can output one billion chips a year.

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