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Intel spent more than $20 billion in Ohio plant for the construction of two new semiconductor chip factories

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Intel spent more than $20 billion in Ohio plant for the construction of two new semiconductor chip factories
Credit: Intel Corporation

Intel, the giant semiconductor chip maker in the world, has announced plans to invest more than $20 billion in the development of two new leading-edge chip plants in Licking County, Ohio. “The $20 billion project spans nearly 1000 acres and is the largest single private-sector investment in Ohio history,” according to the Intel Corporation. Intel also stated that construction will begin in late 2022, with operations expected to begin in late 2025.

As part of Intel’s IDM 2.0 strategy, Intel said this investment will significantly improve production to match the growing demand for advanced semiconductors, powering a new generation of innovative Intel products and servicing the demands of foundry customers.

Intel also offered another $100 million to educational institutions to help develop a talent pipeline and improve research programs in the region.

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“The announcement is monumental news for the state of Ohio,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. “Intel’s new facilities will be transformative for our state, creating thousands of good-paying jobs in Ohio manufacturing strategically vital semiconductors, often called ‘chips.’ Advanced manufacturing, research and development, and talent are part of Ohio’s DNA, and we are proud that chips – which power the future – will be made in Ohio, by Ohioans.”

“This investment marks another significant way Intel is leading the effort to restore U.S. semiconductor manufacturing leadership,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel. “Intel’s actions will help build a more resilient supply chain and ensure reliable access to advanced semiconductors for years to come. Intel is bringing leading capability and capacity back to the United States to strengthen the global semiconductor industry. These factories will create a new epicenter for advanced chipmaking in the U.S. that will bolster Intel’s domestic lab-to-fab pipeline and strengthen Ohio’s leadership in research and high tech.”

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According to Intel’s press release, this largest single private-sector investment in Ohio will be expected to create 3000 Intel jobs and 7000 construction jobs over the course of the build, as well as tens of thousands of additional long-term jobs supported by a broad ecosystem of suppliers and partners.

“Spanning nearly 1,000 acres in Licking County, just outside of Columbus, the “mega-site” can accommodate a total of eight chip factories – also known as “fabs” – as well as support operations and ecosystem partners. At full buildout, the total investment in the site could grow to as much as $100 billion over the next decade, making it one of the largest semiconductor manufacturing sites in the world,” Intel mentioned in its press release.

The first two factories will begin planning immediately, with construction beginning in late 2022. The fabrication is expected to start producing chips in 2025, utilizing the most advanced transistor technologies in the world. Intel will open its first new manufacturing facility in Ohio in 40 years.

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In addition to Intel’s presence in Ohio, the investment is intended to attract dozens of ecosystem partners and suppliers, ranging from semiconductor equipment and materials suppliers to a variety of service providers, to provide local support for Intel’s operations. These vendors’ investments will not only assist Ohio but will also have a large economic influence on the entire semiconductor ecosystem in the United States.

Air Products, Applied Materials, LAM Research, and Ultra Clean Technology have all expressed interest in establishing a physical presence in the region to help with the site’s development, with additional companies expected in the future.

Intel also wants to invest around $100 million over the next decade in collaboration with Ohio universities, community colleges, and the US National Science Foundation to assist build and attracting a pipeline of talented personnel from within the region.

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These collaborations will include everything from joint research studies to developing semiconductor-specific curricula for associate and bachelor’s degree programs.

“Semiconductors make almost every facet of modern life possible – from computers and smart phones to cars and appliances – and they played an integral role in the technologies that enabled us to stay connected throughout the pandemic,” said Kristina M. Johnson, president of The Ohio State University.

“They will also be integral to a wide range of applications in which Ohio State is actively involved from a research perspective, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, vaccine development and more. So, it’s a natural fit for Ohio State, along with our fellow institutions of higher education, to partner on this game-changing investment in semiconductor manufacturing. This announcement is significant for Ohio, for Intel and for the national interest, as we are still in the midst of a global chip shortage. But it also presents a remarkable opportunity for current and future students. It will cement Ohio as a top magnet for retaining and attracting a new generation of talent and build on numerous opportunities under development within our state’s colleges and universities, including at Ohio’s innovation districts, which are already taking shape in partnership with JobsOhio.”

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Intel has a long history of corporate responsibility at its current U.S. manufacturing plants, and the company is dedicated to forging significant connections with the community in Licking County and beyond. Intel has a long focus on environmental responsibility and is constantly working to reduce its environmental footprint.

In support of Intel’s 2030 sustainability targets, the new site will be designed and built using green building principles, with the new factories aiming to be powered entirely by renewable energy, with net positive water use and zero total waste to landfill.

These new factories will service expanding demand for Intel’s new fabrication business, Intel Foundry Services (IFS), in addition to providing capacity for the company’s leading-edge products.

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“With IFS, Intel is opening its factory doors wide to serve the needs of foundry customers around the globe – many of whom are looking for more geographical balance in the semiconductor supply chain,” said Dr. Randhir Thakur, senior vice president and president of Intel Foundry Services. “The Ohio factories are designed for the ‘Angstrom era,’ with support for Intel’s most advanced process technologies, including Intel 18A. These technologies are critical for enabling next-generation foundry customer products across a range of applications, from high-performance mobile to artificial intelligence.”

In addition, the Ohio facility will provide cutting-edge process technologies to support the US government’s unique security and infrastructure requirements.

Shubham Sawarkar

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