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Intel Reveals Plans for Massive New Ohio Factory

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    February 11, 2022 8:35 PM EST

    Intel Reveals Plans for Massive New Ohio Factory

    as part of an effort to regain its position as a leading maker of semiconductors amidst a global chip shortage, Intel is committing $20 billion to build a manufacturing mega-site in New Albany, on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, the company exclusively confirmed to TIME.To get more intel news, you can visit shine news official website.

    The chip maker says it will build at least two semiconductor fabrication plants, or fabs, on the 1,000-acre site, where Intel will research, develop, and manufacture its most cutting-edge computer chips, employing at least 3,000 people. Construction will begin this year and the plant should be operational by 2025, the company said.

    Intel’s announcement is the largest private-sector investment in Ohio history and a bright spot in what has been a dismal few decades for manufacturing in Ohio and the Midwest. Big employers like General Motors laid off thousands as factory jobs relocated to the U.S. South and overseas. But as automation drives efficiency in factories, creating technical, rather than assembly-line jobs, Ohio is trying to mount a manufacturing comeback.

    “Our expectation is that this becomes the largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told TIME; the company has the option to eventually expand to 2,000 acres and up to eight fabs. “We helped to establish the Silicon Valley,” he said. “Now we’re going to do the Silicon Heartland.”The announcement comes amidst a push to increase domestic manufacturing of semiconductors. Partly because of enormous incentives offered by other countries to jumpstart semiconductor manufacturing on their shores, the share of chips made in the U.S. has fallen to 12%, from 37% in 1990, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association(SIA). As booming demand and supply chain woes led to semiconductor shortages over the past year, entire U.S. industries like auto manufacturing were crippled.
    Semiconductor manufacturing has grown at a much slower rate in the U.S. than in other places around the world, particularly East Asia, in part because it costs 30% more to build and operate a fab over 10 years than it does in Taiwan, South Korea, or Singapore, according to the SIA.

    To create a more reliable supply of chips, the federal government is weighing providing incentives for chip makers in the U.S. The CHIPS for America Act, passed last year, authorized federal investments in chip manufacturing, but it did not provide funding. The Senate passed $52 billion in funding in June, but the House has not passed the legislation.

    Intel has joined with other leading semiconductor companies, including competitors AMD, Inc., NVIDIA, and GlobalFoundries, to lobby President Biden to fund semiconductor research and manufacturing. Gelsinger has met with various leaders in Washington including the bipartisan Problem Solvers’ Caucus in Congress and the New Democrat Coalition to emphasize the need for bringing more semiconductor manufacturing capability to the U.S. “My first meeting with the Undersecretary of Defense basically scolded her,” he said. “I said, Why am I explaining why this is so important to Congress, and you’re not?’”The supply chain bottlenecks of the past two years are part of the reason there’s such urgency to create more chip manufacturing capability in the U.S. Unable to get the chips used in manufacturing cars, U.S. automakers such as General Motors idled some North American plants last year and resorted to manufacturing some cars without features that require chips. That’s made it more difficult for U.S. consumers to buy cars, driving the price of used cars up 24% over the course of a year, and slowing national economic growth.

    Supply chain bottlenecks have motivated big companies to start increasing capacity in the U.S.; Intel itself said last year it would spend $20 billion to build two major factories in Arizona, and in 2020, the global leader in chip manufacturing Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), said it would spend $12 billion to build a semiconductor factory, also in Arizona. Samsung is investing $17 billion in a chip plant in Texas.