ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Intel Corp. in Rio Rancho is hiring again, following the company’s decision to transfer development of a new storage and memory technology to its New Mexico plant.
The new technology could greatly improve processing speeds for desktop computers and data center operations. Intel created the technology — known as 3D XPoint, or “cross point,” in partnership with another company, Micron Technology. But the partners announced this summer that they would part ways to continue developing 3D XPoint separately, allowing each company to pursue its own applications and markets.
On Monday, Intel announced that development work will now be moved to Rio Rancho, paving the way for the local plant to hire another 100 people.
“The transition of that work to Rio Rancho will add over 100 new positions to the site,” said Intel spokesperson Liz Shipley. “We’ll host some job fairs in the near future to recruit people.”
The announcement marks a reversal from recent years. Employment at the local plant fell from about 3,300 people in 2013 to about 1,100 now as corporate investment in next-generation chip technology and manufacturing operations went to Intel sites in other states and countries.
But the Rio Rancho facility’s research-and-development work has remained strong, leading to development of new products here that have helped stabilize the local workforce since last year. Local engineering teams, for example, created novel methods to fuse optics technology, using lasers, with traditional silicon-based electronics circuits. That’s next-generation technology that uses light to immensely speed data transfer, compared with traditional digital communications that rely on electronics to transfer and process information.