Memory and Storage

Micron breaks ground on new Idaho fab

13 September 2022
An artist rendering of the Boise, Idaho fab that Micron recently broke ground on. Construction on the facility is expected to begin in early 2023. Source: Micron

Just a few days after it announced it would build the first new memory manufacturing fab in the U.S. in 20 years, Micron Technology Inc. has broken ground on the site in Boise, Idaho.

Earlier this month, Micron announced it would build the fab at an investment of $15 billion — part of a planned $40 billion that the company will spend over the next decade to increase semiconductor manufacturing for leading-edge memory.

Micron is expected to receive incentives and tax breaks from the CHIPS and Science Act, a bill that was passed into law by President Joe Biden in August that will provide $50 billion to fund R&D projects, new semiconductor manufacturing facilities and increase engineering prowess in the U.S.

“With this facility, Micron will closely couple R&D and manufacturing, providing synergies that will enable us to accelerate the production ramp of advanced memory technology,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, president and CEO of Micron. “The investment, made possible by the anticipated grants and credits provided by the CHIPS and Science Act, also enhances Micron’s supply chain resilience and will establish a new strategic capability for the U.S.”

It is also in the process of selecting another high-volume manufacturing site in the U.S., the company said.

Double demand

The memory market is expected to double by 2030 and with ongoing issues in the supply chain for all semiconductors due to the chip shortage created by the fallout of COVID-19, Micron is preparing for the future in the long term.

Additional wafer production capacity will be needed to meet long-term demand in market segments such as data center, industrial, automotive and mobile as well as the adoption of artificial intelligence and 5G, Micron said.

The Boise fab will be part of Micron’s overall strategy to increase U.S.-based DRAM production to 40% of the company’s global output in the next decade.

Boise bound

Construction on the new fab will begin in early 2023 with cleanroom space coming in phases that will start in 2025. Ultimately the Boise fab will have cleanroom space that will reach 600,000 square feet — about the size of 10 U.S. football fields. It will be the largest single cleanroom ever built in the U.S., Micron said.

The fab will create 17,000 Idaho jobs, including 2,000 direct Micron jobs and will increase investment in K-12 STEM education programs.

Micron aims for the fab to be 100% water reuse, recycling and restoration as well as use 100% renewable electricity. The company plans to use green infrastructure and sustainable building attributes. These efforts are part of Micron’s goal to achieve 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from operations by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

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