MEMS and Sensors

Samsung may build more chip fabs in Texas

22 July 2022

Samsung Electronics has filed documents with the city of Austin, Texas, to potentially build 11 semiconductor manufacturing fabs at an estimated cost of $200 billion.

In documents filed by a law firm to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, plans from Samsung would involve more than just the $17 billion fab under construction in the city of Taylor, Texas, about 30 miles from the Korean electronics giant’s existing manufacturing hub in Austin.

The Taylor fab is scheduled to be a state-of-the-art facility designed to expand U.S. semiconductor manufacturing to help the supply chain and the ongoing chip shortage as well as expand Samsung’s manufacturing presence in the U.S. and the world.

The timing is interesting considering the Senate just passed the slimmed-down version of the CHIPS for America Act, which would allow government funding to the tune of $52 billion for incentives for semiconductor manufacturing and R&D.

Originally, the CHIPS for America Act was part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a larger bill created to help America compete with China in a variety of technological areas. However, last week lawmakers pushed to move the CHIPS for America Act into a smaller bill that would be easier to pass through both houses of Congress.

Texas fabs

According to the documents filed, a second fab would be constructed alongside the Taylor, Texas, fab that is under construction and then another 10 would be built in Williamson County at a price tag of between $12 and $21 billion. This would require tens of thousands of workers to operate these factories.

The documents stated the earliest the first of these 11 fabs would come online is 2034 with the last opening in the early 2040s.

As this is more than a decade out, the filing could be a tease to what Samsung would like to do in the long run without any concrete plans for development. It could additionally be an expanded ambition given the imminent passing of the CHIPS for America Act and getting a piece of that proposed $52 billion in funding.

Earlier this year, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Samsung called on the U.S. government to allow foreign companies to participate in the CHIPS for America Act. Both companies pointed to already under construction fabs being built including Samsung’s Taylor fab and the $12 billion fab TSMC is currently building in Arizona as a reason, considering both companies are already investing in America’s semiconductor manufacturing future.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


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