What is Manufacturing?

Intel manufactures semiconductor chips, graphics chips, motherboard chipsets and other computing devices.

Tech 101

  • December 13, 2023

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Before the Industrial Revolution, most products were handmade using human labor and simple tools. This process took a long time. With the development of new technologies – think steam engines to start – companies could use machines in the manufacturing process. The result? Larger quantities of products at lower costs.

Today, manufacturing – converting raw materials into something with a greater use or value – is a huge driver of the global economy. Adding simple efficiencies to the workstream further increases value by making more goods with fewer materials or fewer worker hours. And as companies finish more products at a faster rate, there’s added profit across the business chain.

Industrial Revolutions over Time

Mechanization, steam power, iron production, textile industry, mining and metallurgy, and new manufacturing.

Mass production, electrical energy, assembly line and broad adoption of the telegraph, gas and water supply.

Automation, computers, electronics, internet, digital manufacturing, robotics, digital networks and digital machines.

Cyber physical systems, Internet of Things, networks, autonomous machines, big data, cloud computing, system integration, smart factories, machine learning and artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, augmented reality, and advanced robotics.

Manufacturing is Essential to Our Daily Lives

Manufacturing is key to how we live. It’s critical for the everyday items we interact with, rely on, enjoy and consume. And it’s the heart of Intel.

Intel manufactures semiconductor chips, graphics chips, motherboard chipsets and other computing devices. As semiconductor manufacturing becomes more complex, Intel is one of the few remaining firms in the world, and the only one in the United States, that performs both leading-edge design and manufacturing in-house.

Making computer chips requires one of the most complex manufacturing processes humans have devised. Since 1968, Intel engineers and scientists have continually faced – then overcome – challenges posed by the physics of squeezing billions of microscopic transistors onto ever-smaller computer chips. Delivering on this promise requires a massive global team, world-class factory infrastructure and a robust supply chain ecosystem.

Heat Spreader

Silicon Chip


Converting Raw Materials

Semiconductor manufacturing at Intel evolves every few years and, as predicted by Moore’s Law, delivers ever-more functionality and performance, improved energy efficiency and lower cost per transistor with each generation. With wafer fabrication sites and assembly/test manufacturing locations worldwide, Intel’s manufacturing facilities operate with exceptional flexibility on a global network.

By taking sand and heating it with magnesium powder, a manufacturer converts that raw material into silicon. This process creates the key ingredient found in every computer processor. If we didn’t convert raw materials into more complex goods, we wouldn’t have the electronics, appliances, transportation and other things that make life today more efficient, safe and productive.

Acquire Raw Materials
Convert Raw Materials
Manufacturing Process
(where value is added)
Completed Product
Goes to Packaging
Intel takes sand, …
… heats it with magnesium powder, …
… which converts the sand into silicon, …
… and powers your technology world.

Assembly Line

By breaking down the steps and putting them in a pre-defined order, an assembly line allows companies to create parts that can be used interchangeably and allows a finished product to be made faster. This is most common in mass production, where unskilled workers can be trained to perform a single specific task rather than build an entire product themselves, which reduces labor costs.

The skills required to operate machines and develop manufacturing processes have drastically changed over time. Many low-skill manufacturing jobs have shifted from developed to developing countries, where labor tends to be less expensive. High-end products that require precision and skilled manufacturing are typically produced in developed economies.
Computers and precision electronic equipment allow companies to pioneer high-tech manufacturing methods. Products made using these methods require more specialized labor and higher capital investment, typically leading to a higher price tag.