• CHIPS Act Seen Facilitating Micron’s $100 Billion Plan

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    Micron’s plans in New York could include four 600,000-square-foot cleanrooms.

    By Alan Patterson

    Micron, the largest U.S. memory chipmaker, plans to invest up to $100 billion over about 20 years to build a chip facility near the city of Clay, N.Y., the company told the press yesterday.

    The first-phase investment of $20 billion is planned by around 2030.

    The announcement follows the company’s $40 billion fab project in Boise, Idaho, that coincided with passage of the U.S. CHIPS Act this year. The New York site could include four 600,000-square-foot cleanrooms in a space equivalent to 40 U.S. football fields.

    Micron aims to increase its U.S. DRAM production to 40% of its global output over the next decade. The company does most of its manufacturing in Asia. New York production will start in the latter half of the decade as demand picks up. Production in the U.S. will help customers build products within a more secure supply chain, the company said.

    “Micron will leverage the diverse, highly educated and skilled talent in New York,” Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said in prepared remarks. “This historic, leading-edge memory megafab in central New York will deliver benefits beyond the semiconductor industry by strengthening U.S. technology leadership, as well as economic and national security.”

    The U.S. investments will likely be put on hold for a year or two as the company slows capital expenditures amid a demand slump.

    “We see total capex being down year-over-year, fiscal 2023 versus fiscal 2022,” Micron CFO Mark Murphy said on Aug. 9 at an investor event held by KeyBanc Capital Markets. “We’re responding to a market condition where supply needs to be adjusted. We need to work through this and figure out a way to right-size the capacity.”

    CHIPS Act secures the deal

    The state of New York’s $5.5 billion in incentives, as well as anticipated federal grants and tax credits from the CHIPS Act, helped clinch the deal.

    “This is another case of Micron looking at the long term,” Jim Handy, a veteran memory analyst with Objective Analysis, told EE Times. “It becomes more feasible under the CHIPS Act.”

    The announcement is important to investors, as well as materials and equipment suppliers, the latter of which will need to prepare support well in advance for the project, Handy said. The location in New York will provide Micron a talent pool of existing semiconductor personnel, he added.

    The largest private investment in New York state history would create nearly 50,000 jobs, including about 9,000 with Micron. The company aims to hire people traditionally underrepresented in technology jobs, as well as U.S. veterans.

    New York has a semiconductor infrastructure that includes chipmakers like GlobalFoundries, IBM, and Wolfspeed.

    Micron cited opportunities to collaborate on R&D initiatives with organizations like the Albany NanoTech Complex and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

    Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, a key backer of the CHIPS Act, took partial credit for helping bring the Micron project to his home state.

    “Today’s announcement is the result of my long fight to bring manufacturing back to upstate New York,” he said in prepared remarks. “Without the CHIPS and Science legislation, Micron would have decided to build its megafab overseas.

    Micron aims to use 100% renewable electricity at the new facility. The company also plans to achieve a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from operations by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

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