Intel damps expectations as it breaks ground in Ohio

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Intel has broken ground for its leading edge wafer fabs in Ohio, with chief executive Pat Gelsinger dampening expectations of expansion.

The ground breaking at Licking County was attended by US President Joe Biden, who recently signed the US CHPS Act to support the building of such fabs.

However, in interviews Pat Gelsigner, CEO of Intel, dampened expectations by saying if there would be expansion at the site after the first two fabs. This highlights the declining chip market, which will see further analysis tomorrow from Future Horizons, one of the leading market analysts.

The CHIPS act provides up to $20bn for leading edge fabs, with applications due in February 2023 as the market is predicted to see a major downturn. Several chip makers, including Micron and Wolfspeed, are aiming to apply for funds.

Intel also announced the first phase of funding for its Ohio Semiconductor Education and Research Program. During this first phase, Intel is providing $17.7 million for eight proposals from leading institutions and collaborators in Ohio to develop semiconductor-focused education and workforce programs.  

“Today marks a pivotal moment in the journey to build a more geographically balanced and resilient semiconductor supply chain,” said Gelsigner.

“The establishment of the Silicon Heartland is testament to the power of government incentives to unlock private investment, create thousands of high-paying jobs, and benefit U.S. economic and national security.”

In addition to providing capacity for Intel’s next-generation products, the $20bn investment in Ohio will support the new foundry business, Intel Foundry Services (IFS). 

Intel is already building two new fabs in Arizona and expanding its advanced packaging capabilities in New Mexico. When combined with Intel’s silicon R&D capabilities, this new site in Licking County, Ohio, will expand the company’s U.S. “lab-to-fab” pipeline.   

The Ohio Semiconductor Education and Research Program will fund collaborative proposals led by the University of Cincinnati, Central State University, Columbus State Community College, Kent State University, Lorain County Community College, Ohio University and two from The Ohio State University. Altogether, the eight proposals involve more than 80 institutions of higher education across Ohio. 

The eight leading institutions will receive $17.7 million in funding over three years and Intel expects this first iteration of the program to produce nearly 9,000 graduates for the industry and provide more than 2,300 scholarships.

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