Intel plunking down $20bn for at least two chip factories in Ohio

Announcement scheduled for today as Gelsinger meets with Biden at the White House

Intel is scheduled to announce on Friday that it is committing $20bn to build semiconductor plants outside Columbus, Ohio, thereby strengthening domestic supply chains, according to reports from the White House.

The US government's canned statement on Thursday said the effort would create 7,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs.

Intel told Time the money will build at least two semiconductor plants on a 1,000-acre site that could expand up to 2,000 acres and eight fabs.

The site will be used for research and development, as well as manufacturing, and its operations are slated to begin by 2025, said the news outlet.

"Our expectation is that this becomes the largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said in the interview. It is also Ohio's largest private-sector investment to date.

The Midwestern American state, with its overall low cost of living and tax incentives, was chosen over 38 different sites. Governor Mike DeWine was told of the selection on Christmas Day.

As for those tax incentives, Ohio will fork out $1bn in infrastructure improvements and Intel will be eligible for job creation tax credits for up to 30 years.

The Semiconductor Industry Association has continually angled for such tax incentives in order to "reverse the decades-long trajectory of declining chip production in America."

"The United States used to lead the world in global semiconductor manufacturing. But in recent decades, the U.S. lost its edge — our share of global semiconductor production has fallen from 37 percent to just 12 percent over the last 30 years," said the White House in Thursday's canned statement.

Much of the world's chip manufacturing ended up in Asia due to low cost of labor, although there is some hope for the US that the ever-increasing adoption of automation can change that, alongside government programs.

Many countries worldwide have sought to increase their domestic chip production, as the multi-year semiconductor shortage rages on.

The US has passed the CHIPS Act to support the country's domestic production, which invests $52bn in semiconductor research and manufacturing. The money is currently stalled, waiting for legislation from the House.

Other semiconductor manufacturers are also currently building foundries in the US. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) has planned facilities in Arizona while Samsung has announced $17bn worth of semiconductor plants outside Austin, Texas.

There's no official info out yet from Intel on its Ohio plans or which products will be made there. The Reg has contacted the company and will update accordingly.

CEO Pat Gelsinger is scheduled to meet with President Joe Biden at the White House today – Friday 21 January.

The White House said Biden will make remarks on the US government's efforts "to increase the supply of semiconductors, make more in America, and rebuild our supply chains here at home." ®

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