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‘Every Die Wants to Live’: Inside Fab 28, Intel’s Elite Chip-Making Site

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I've visited high-tech factories in China and Taiwan where motherboards and graphics cards are assembled. They are physical, visceral operations.

Circuit boards pass through hot baths of molten solder; chips are put into place by chattering surface-mount machines. The emphasis on assembly and the tactile aspects leave a vivid impression: rows of workers intently fitting ports and heatsinks by hand, testers jacking diagnostic equipment into boards coming down the line.

Conveyors clatter. Workers twitter. Box-folding machines make a din. But a chip fabrication plant, usually called a fab, is not like that at all.

It's a much lower-key and different dynamic. Most of the activity occurs out of sight, inside forbidding machines of colossal size and cost.

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