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Micron plans investment of up to $100 billion in New York chip factory

Oct. 4, 2022 Updated Tue., Oct. 4, 2022 at 7:43 p.m.

Boise-based Micron Technology Inc. said the first phase investment of $20 billion in its upstate New York semiconductor facility is planned by the end of this decade and the facility will the largest of its kind in the U.S.  (Jeremy Erickson/Bloomberg)
Boise-based Micron Technology Inc. said the first phase investment of $20 billion in its upstate New York semiconductor facility is planned by the end of this decade and the facility will the largest of its kind in the U.S. (Jeremy Erickson/Bloomberg)
By Molly Schuetz and Keshia Clukey Bloomberg

Boise-based Micron Technology Inc. said it plans to invest as much as $100 billion over the next 20 years to build a factory in upstate New York to boost U.S. production of memory chips.

The announcement on Tuesday represents the largest private investment in New York state history, Micron said. The company said the first phase investment of $20 billion, in Clay, New York, is planned by the end of this decade and that it will be the largest semiconductor facility built in the U.S. The chips will supply mobile devices, data centers and electric vehicles.

The New York site, which will generate about 50,000 jobs in the state, including about 9,000 high-paying Micron positions, adds to the company’s previously announced manufacturing facility in Boise. In return, the company said it expects to get $5.5 billion in incentives from the state of New York over the course of the project.

“As the first upstate governor in 100 years, this was a personal quest and failure was not an option,” said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul at an event commemorating the announcement held at Syracuse University, which is near the proposed factory site. “We’re doing this for generations to come.”

The so-called megafab chip factory complex is part of Micron’s strategy to increase DRAM production to 40% of the company’s global output over the next decade.

Micron’s commitment comes after the U.S. government passed the CHIPS and Science Act in August, providing $52 billion to boost domestic semiconductor research and development. The bill is at the center of the Biden administration’s effort to reduce dependence on Asian suppliers like Taiwan and South Korea, whose homegrown companies are leading the market, and to address supply-chain disruptions and resulting price hikes for certain goods containing semiconductors.

The bill’s signing spurred U.S. chip companies to plan billions of dollars in new investments. For example, Qualcomm Inc. is partnering with GlobalFoundries Inc., which also has a facility in New York state, in a $4.2 billion agreement to manufacture chips.

“We will bring these jobs back to our shores and end our dependence on foreign-made chips,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “This massive project will be built with union labor and high-paying jobs.”

Micron Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Mehrotra said he was “deeply appreciative” of President Biden and his administration for making the CHIPS and Science Act a priority.

“Today only 2% of the world’s memory is made here in the U.S., but we are going to change that,” Mehrotra said, outlining plans to help grow the U.S. market share to 10% of the global supply in the next decade.

Biden, in a statement, called the plant “another win for America” and pledged to build “an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, where we lower costs for our families and make it right here in America.”

Site preparation work for the chip factory will start next year and construction will begin in 2024. Production output will increase in the latter half of the decade, gradually increasing in line with industry demand, according to the statement from Micron.

The site, near Syracuse, New York, could eventually include four 600,000 square foot cleanrooms, accounting for a total of 2.4 million square feet of cleanroom space – the size of about 40 U.S. football fields.

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