Chipmaker Intel said it will invest $20bn to build a new factory in Ohio in the United States, an attempt to help alleviate a global shortage of chips powering everything from phones to cars to home appliances while also signalling the giant company’s commitment to manufacturing crucial technology products in the US.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said the move is a message to China “because this is about national security is so vitally important that we make these chips right here in the United States of America”.
The move could also create a new technology hub in central Ohio as related businesses that support chip manufacturing open new facilities and bring expertise to the region.
Intel said two planned factories, or fabs, will support its own line of processors as well as its new “foundry” business, which will build chips designed by other firms. Existing chip foundries turn out a vast number of custom-designed chips, mostly in Asia. The business is currently dominated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, or TSMC.
The future production site aims to meet multiple needs, Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger said during a White House event. Chips built there won’t just reduce supply chain pressures, he said, but will also bolster US national security while bringing more tech jobs to the region.
“One of the most profound lessons that we have collectively learned through the pandemic is that we can’t take the access of technology and manufacturing for granted,” Gelsinger said. “You know, we’ve seen the disruptions to our global supply chain. The demand for semiconductors is truly unprecedented today.”
The two factories on a 405-hectare (1,000-acre) site in Licking County, just east of Columbus, are expected to create 3,000 company jobs and 7,000 construction jobs. The facility will support tens of thousands of additional jobs for suppliers and partners, Intel and local and state officials said Friday.