Intel plans for largest chip manufacturing site in the world

The 1,000-acre manufacturing site in Ohio will cost the tech giant $20 billion.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer

Intel is committing to building a new chip manufacturing plant that would be the largest in the world. 

According to TIME, the company has plans to spend $20 billion on a 1,000-acre site near Columbus, Ohio. The project includes two chip fabrication plants (or fabs) that would focus on research and development alongside manufacturing semiconductors amide the global shortage. 

The plants would create at least 3,000 jobs once it opens for operation in 2025. In addition, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told TIME that the option to expand up to 2,000 acres at the site and add six more fabs is on the table. 

This site would be Intel's third major chip manufacturing location in the country, alongside locations in Arizona and Oregon. Intel reportedly considered 38 different sites in other states but ultimately decided on Ohio to establish "the Silicon Heartland." 

Intel is expected to share more details about the new manufacturing plant and its future plans to invest in chip manufacturing leadership on Friday. 

The new manufacturing plant is part of a plan called IDM 2.0, which Intel introduced last year. The plan focuses on three components: expanded use of third-party foundry capacity, building a world-class foundry business and continued manufacturing of the majority of its products internally. 

"We are setting a course for a new era of innovation and product leadership at Intel," Gelsinger said in a previous statement. "Intel is the only company with the depth and breadth of software, silicon and platforms, packaging, and process with at-scale manufacturing customers can depend on for their next-generation innovations." 

The push to manufacture chips in the US has been ongoing for years, especially given the worldwide supply chain issues and semiconductor shortage affecting almost every industry.

According to Globaldata's recent report, the chip shortage we have experienced over the last few years will continue to be an issue in 2022, mainly because of new COVID-19 variants. However, analysts expect the chip shortage to eventually be solved once Western governments invest more in manufacturing chips domestically.

Chipmaking in the US has drastically dropped over the decades: from 37% in 1990 to only 12% today. And although US companies account for 48% of the world's chip sales, 75% of the world's chip manufacturing happens in East Asia.

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