Following a flurry of manufacturing expansion in 2021, Intel today said that it would invest a further $20 billion in Ohio, where it will build two new chip factories. With this announcement, Ohio becomes the home of Intel’s first new manufacturing site location in 40 years, and the microprocessor giant could invest even more in the area in the years ahead.
“Today’s investment marks another significant way Intel is leading the effort to restore U.S. semiconductor manufacturing leadership,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said. “Intel’s actions will help build a more resilient supply chain and ensure reliable access to advanced semiconductors for years to come. Intel is bringing leading capability and capacity back to the United States to strengthen the global semiconductor industry. These factories will create a new epicenter for advanced chipmaking in the U.S. that will bolster Intel’s domestic lab-to-fab pipeline and strengthen Ohio’s leadership in research and high tech.”
Intel has moved quickly to reassert its market power ever since Mr. Gelsinger signed on as CEO in February 2021. As part of his so-called IDM (integrated device manufacturing) 2.0 strategy, Intel first pledged to expand its own manufacturing capabilities in the U.S. and Europe, and it promised that the U.S. could expect two new chip fabrication facilities. It then announced a $3.3 billion expansion of its manufacturing facilities in Rio Rancho, New Mexico in May 2021, and an $80 billion investment in two new chip-making facilities in Europe in September 2021. Gelsinger has also led the charge on modernizing Intel’s product roadmap, which he delivered last July.
As for Ohio, Intel says that the investment will help it meet “the surging demand for advanced semiconductors” that will power a new generation of products as part of that IDM 2.0 strategy. Intel also pledged an additional $100 million toward partnerships with educational institutions to “build a pipeline of talent and bolster research programs in the region.”
The Ohio project is described as the largest single private-sector investment in Ohio history, and the initial phase should create 3,000 Intel jobs and 7,000 construction and will support tens of thousands of additional local long-term jobs. The facility will span almost 1,000 acres in Licking County, outside of Columbus, and the site can support up to 8 chip factories, or fabs. Intel says the site could grow to as much as $100 billion over the next decade, making it one of the largest semiconductor manufacturing sites in the world.
Planning for the first two factories starts immediately, and construction is expected to begin late in 2022. The factories will come online in 2025.
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