Intel Corp. has picked Columbus, Ohio, to build a new semiconductor factory and plans to invest $20 billion in the factory.
The news comes from The Columbus Dispatch, where sources said the Licking County site would employ 3,000 workers along with thousands of construction workers to build the fab.
Last week, the newspaper issued a report that a major semiconductor company was interested in developing a fab in the area, which would be one of the largest economic development projects in the state’s history.
State officials, Intel and the state’s economic development agency, JobsOhio, declined to comment but rumors of an investment have been happening for months after 3,190 acres of the city of New Albany was annexed from Jersey Township in western Licking County.
Currently, the land where the fab would be built also includes Google, Amazon and Facebook data centers.
The move by Intel would continue the chip company’s move to increase its manufacturing of semiconductors domestically. This is a strategy shift by the company that previously has mixed its own manufacturing with using foundries such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC).
Intel recently broke ground on two new fabs at its Ocotillo campus in Chandler, Arizona, where it already has factories. Intel is investing some $20 billion in the two fabs and at the same time providing foundry services as part of its Intel Foundry Services.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, semiconductor manufacturing has been hit hard with supply chain issues, causing a shortage in semiconductors, particularly in the automotive sector. While COVID-19 is the root cause of the shortage, it served as the final straw for many organizations in the U.S. as well as domestic companies to call for an expansion of domestic chipmaking.
The U.S. government is also behind the boost to increase U.S. domestic chip manufacturing. Last year, the Senate passed the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), which includes funding for Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act, a bill that would help to increase U.S. domestic semiconductor manufacturing. The bill is currently with the House of Representatives.
The bill would provide $52 billion in federal investments for domestic semiconductor research, design and manufacturing and may be part of the funding for the new Ohio facility.