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In this paper, the evolution of fab automation within Intel over the past decade and its increasing role in enabling process technology development and high volume manufacturing in the era of nanotechnology is presented. Silicon manufacturing technology faces a number of challenges, which include - growing manufacturing process complexity, increasing need to be cost effective, and need for tighter process control to maintain product yield. Given these challenges, a higher level of factory automation is becoming increasingly important to maintain competitive advantage and technology leadership in the semi-conductor industry. This paper will cover four areas: a) Automation role in Intel's technology module development and manufacturing; b) Automation Capabilities roadmap which includes a historical perspective starting from 200 mm and it's evolution to the current 90/65 nm technology generations in 300 mm manufacturing c) Automation framework based architecture strategy to deliver cost-efficient technology enabling solutions; d) Intel's Next Generation Manufacturing Execution System (NGMES) migration effort and results to date. This paper is concluded by summarizing key learning to date and look-ahead on emerging challenges.