Micron is one of the largest semiconductor manufacturers in the world, and the company has announced a new chip factory in upstate New York. The US-based company will spend up to $100 billion on the facility, providing thousands of jobs to the area, but it wouldn’t be happening without some generous state and federal subsidies.
Micron’s new factory will be in the town of Clay, near Syracuse and more than 200 miles northwest of New York City. New York Senator Chuck Schumer was a driving force behind the CHIPS Act, which he said was designed with upstate New York in mind. It wasn’t just federal money that drew Micron to Clay. The state has also granted Micron a tax incentive package valued at $5.5 billion, but it’s tied to the company’s promise to create 9,000 new jobs. The governor’s office claims economic analysis has shown the semiconductor plant in Clay could create as many as 50,000 local jobs over the next three decades.
You might not have devices in your home with Micron’s brand on them, but odds are its chips are hiding inside. The company is one of the largest producers of NAND flash, DRAM, and SSDs. It sells products to consumers under brands like Crucial and Ballistix, in addition to supplying chips to partners.
A Micron 3D NAND wafer.
Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act earlier this year, which set aside $52 billion to encourage domestic semiconductor production. That big pile of government money appears to be working, too. Previously, Intel announced it would spend $100 billion building chips in Ohio, and Qualcomm opted to spend billions of dollars buying chips from New York-based Global Foundries.
The chip shortage has caused economic disruption worldwide, but the supply chain difficulties throughout the pandemic convinced lawmakers that action was needed to bolster domestic production. Currently, most semiconductor manufacturing happens in Asia, with Taiwan as a major chip hub. Large US firms like Apple, AMD, and Nvidia have been buying 90 percent of their silicon from Taiwan in recent years, and China still considers Taiwan part of its territory. Any actions by the mainland to reclaim Taiwan could have disastrous effects on semiconductor supplies.
Micron has not specified when it will begin building the New York plant, but it does say the first $20 billion of its planned investment in the project will be complete this decade.