It must be especially interesting to work at Intel’s Fab 28 these days: the cutting-edge 45nm technology, the fab ramp-up, the missile attacks.
The missile attacks? Well, so far, at least two missiles have hit in the general vicinity of that Intel fab within the last week.
In case you didn’t know, Fab 28 is located in Kiryat Gat, Israel. It is one of Intel’s three working 45nm fabs. It is located a bit over fifteen miles from the Gaza Strip. This is out of range for the missiles Hamas normally uses to attack Israel, but within range of the Grad missile systems now being used by Hamas to attack Israeli targets. People in Kiryat Gat have been ordered by the Israeli authorities to stay within 45 seconds’ reach of a fortified structure at all times.
It’s important not to exaggerate this threat. These Grad missiles are not precision cruise missiles or laser-guided bombs. They’re Iranian knockoffs of an early 60’s Soviet design. They carry at most about fifty pounds of explosives, which is more than enough to take out a typical house, but not much more than that. See for yourself (aftermath at about 1:51 in the clip. No doubt it would mess up anything happening in a clean room, but it would take a very lucky shot to hit one.
Now I don’t know (and Intel hasn’t said) how fortified the fab areas are, or what happens to employees and product when the missile siren goes off, but at the very least, you’d likely have disruptions and definitely distracted employees. If the missile attacks intensify, and more of them head Kiryat Gat’s way, it’s even possible the Israeli authorities might order the fab shut down for a while. It won’t be the first time Israeli Intel employees have been under attack, but while you can move fab employees into a bomb shelter, you can’t move the fab along with them.
Again, nothing significant will likely come of this. If nothing else, Israel is targeting these Grads, and they do have laser-guided targeting, as you can see. But a very lucky shot or a precautionary shutdown order could toss the CPU market into turmoil for a while.