Micron confirms first US memory fab on home soil in 20 years

$15 billion Idaho facility is the first step as chip biz feeds on CHIPS Act

US memory vendor Micron will spend $15 billion over the next decade to construct what it claims is the first memory fab built by a US manufacturer in America in the last 20 years.

The memory manufacturing hub is to be built alongside Micron’s research and development facility at its Boise, Idaho headquarters. It will be the first of several investments planned in the wake of the US CHIPs and Science Act passage earlier this summer.

When complete, Micron says the fab will create roughly 17,000 new jobs, including 2,000 full-time positions working at the facility.

“Our new leading-edge memory manufacturing fab will fuel US technology leadership, ensuring a reliable domestic supply of semiconductors that is critical to economic and national security,” Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said in a statement.

Alongside the new fab, the investments include Micron's expansion of STEM programming to K-12 and university students through partnerships with education institutions in the region and a college-level technical apprenticeship program.

A template for US memory dominance?

While the Idaho fab may be the first new memory fab from a US company on its own soil, it won’t be the last. Early last month, the chipmaker said it could spend $40 billion over the next decade to expand its memory manufacturing capabilities.

Micron’s next stop after Idaho may be Texas. Last week, the chipmaker filed papers with the Texas comptroller’s office seeking tax incentives to build a massive semiconductor fab outside of Austin, Texas.

The application described a large semiconductor manufacturing facility to be built near Lockhart, Texas. And if a recent Bloomberg report is to believed, the facility could cost upwards of $160 billion when complete.

Micron’s ambitions extend far beyond the $40 billion announced so far. Last year the company committed to spend $150 billion to advance semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing. The investments aim to grow Micron’s global marketshare from less than 2 percent to more than 10 percent by 2030.

Competition abounds

Micron isn’t without international competition for fab roots in the US. In July, SK Group, the parent company of memory vendor SK Hynix, said it would spend $22 billion on semiconductor manufacturing green energy, and bioscience research in the US.

The lion’s share of the investment — $15 billion — will go towards chip manufacturing, research and development, and an advanced packaged facility.

Likewise, Samsung, one of the leading manufacturers of DRAM and NAND flash memory modules, has already begun construction on a $17 billion semiconductor fab north of Austin. The chipmaker has, like Micron, filed papers with the Texas comptroller’s office seeking tax incentives for up to 11 new fabs in the Austin Texas area, valued at roughly $200 billion. ®

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