Intel plans to build a large chip factory in New Albany, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, the state capital. An official announcement is expected on January 21.
The company intends to invest $20 billion at the site, and the City of New Albany is working to annex up to 3,600 acres of land to accommodate the facility, according to to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who first reported the matter.
Given the size of the package and the supposed price of the installation, it’s likely Intel’s “mega-fab” site, which CEO Pat Gelsinger says looks like “a small town.” The mega-factory would contain six to eight modules, he said, and would focus on lithography processes and packaging techniques. Suppliers would also have space on the site.
The mega-factory would also become a training center for new production engineers. Given the site’s proximity to Ohio State University, just 15 miles away, it’s likely the company will partner with the university’s electrical engineering department. At the very least, it would provide a close source of potential future employees.
Intel declined to comment on the story when contacted by Ars.
Ohio and New York were vying for the facility, according to the Plain Dealer. New York has a long history of semiconductor manufacturing dating back to the heyday of IBM. If Intel’s mega-factory lands in Ohio, it would be a coup for the state, which is not known to be a hub for major semiconductor companies.
Intel has fallen behind in recent years, but Gelsinger is working to bring the company back to the fore. To achieve this, he plans to manufacture not only Intel chips, but also chips for other companies. The semiconductor giant has already signed up Qualcomm and Amazon Web Services, and Intel vice president Klaus Schuegraf told Ars in October that more than 100 companies had expressed interest. If even a fraction of them follow, they could help fill the mega-fab’s command capacity.
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