Micron pledges $100 billion for “biggest chip factory in US history” • The Register

Micron has committed to a $100 billion memory chip manufacturing facility in upstate New York just days after announcing it will cut capital expenditure due to weaker demand in the semiconductor market.

The new facility will be the largest semiconductor fab in United States history, Micron claims, with construction and investment spread over a long period of time: construction will take the next more than 20 years, and the first phase investment of 20 billion dollars is planned for the end of this decade.

Micron said the new facility will be located near the town of Clay, Onondaga County, New York, and will complement the memory manufacturer’s previously announced high-volume manufacturing facility in Boise, Idaho. The site will eventually include four clean rooms totaling 2.4 million square feet, roughly the size of 40 U.S. football fields, the company said.

Micron's New York megafab

Rendering of Micron’s New York megafab

As with the Boise facility, some of the investment for the New York megafab is said to come from funds made available through the federal government’s CHIPS and Science Act, but it looks like Micron will receive an additional $5.5 billion in stimulus from the New York State will receive the lifetime of the project, while the City of Clay and Onondaga County are also offering so-called “key infrastructure support” for the new plant.

“I am grateful to President Biden and his administration for making the CHIPS and Science Act a priority, to Senator Schumer and a bipartisan coalition in Congress for passing the law, and to Gov. Hochul and County Executive McMahon for the local and state partnerships who have made this investment possible,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, Micron’s President and CEO, in a statement.

In turn, the new factory will bring benefits beyond the semiconductor industry by strengthening US leadership, Mehrotra claimed, as well as providing economic and national security and driving American innovation and competitiveness.

Micron claimed that building the Megafab is part of a strategy to gradually increase DRAM production on American soil to 40 percent of the company’s global production over the next decade. The schedule is for site preparation work to begin in 2023 and construction to begin in 2024. Production output is expected to start in the second half of the decade and gradually increase in line with industry demand trends.

The company also said it is partnering with New York State for a $500 million investment aimed at expanding and preparing the region’s workforce, with a focus on underserved populations. Micron will raise $250 million over the next 20+ years, with $100 million expected to come from New York and $150 million from local and national partners.

Last week, Micron said it would cut its manufacturing capacity capital expenditures by more than 30 percent in 2023 in response to disappointing earnings results in the fourth quarter of 2022, which were attributed to weaker demand in the semiconductor market.

However, Micron may heed new forecasts from investment bank Morgan Stanley, which predicts a return to growth in the semiconductor industry by the second half of 2023, according to Bloomberg. The company picked Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC and Korea’s SK hynix as names to watch.

Other industry watchers like Gartner continue to forecast that the semiconductor market will reverse in 2024 and start growing again in 2025. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/10/05/micron_100b_memory_fab/ Micron pledges $100 billion for “biggest chip factory in US history” • The Register

Rick Schindler

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