Intel on Friday inaugurated its new expansion plant in Arizona. Here is a glimpse of the big event that could lead to many new jobs in the Valley.
CHANDLER, Arizona – As the world faces a global semiconductor chip shortage, Arizona is expected to be a hub for chip wafers.
Intel on Friday opened two semiconductor manufacturing plants, or factories, on the company’s Ocotillo campus in Chandler.
A total of six factories at the site will make the company’s Arizona plant the largest in the world, producing “thousands” of wafers per week, Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, told Reuters. A single wafer can contain hundreds or even thousands of chips.
âWe want Arizona and Intel to be the clear leaders in the global supply of advanced semiconductors,â Gelsinger said at the groundbreaking event. âSemiconductors are a hot topic these days and we are facing a global shortage that is causing chip production to stop and slow down in many other areas of the economy. “
Amid the pandemic, semiconductor production plummeted after COVID-19 forced factories to close, leading to a domino effect of supply shortages. For months, the process was interrupted, only to be saturated when the demand for consumer electronics caused changes that upset the supply chain.
âThese are really huge developments for our state, but they don’t begin to scratch the surface of what this means for everyday Arizonans,â Gov. Doug Ducey said at the event.
Intel promises to bring 3,000 high-tech jobs to the valley and another 3,000 to 4,000 construction jobs.
The facility is expected to be fully operational by 2024.
According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, 75% of chips are currently made in Asia. They said that over the past 30 years, the United States’ share of global semiconductor manufacturing has grown from nearly 40 percent to 12 percent.
To widen this gap, tech companies are investing in Arizona. Intel rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing plans to have its first campus in Phoenix by 2023.
The chip shortage is expected to continue through 2022, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said at the White House Semiconductor meeting on Thursday.
âThe situation seems to be getting worse,â Raimondo said. âWe regularly hear from companies that cannot get the supply they need. We also know that the Delta variant has closed key factories. “
The computer chip shortage is estimated to cost the auto industry $ 210 billion this year alone, a study by consulting firm AlixPartner reported this week.
The expansion of Intel’s Chandler plant will support growing demand for the company’s products and provide committed capacity to Intel foundry services customers, the company said.
âIt created the right conditions for it to become the silicon desert, a place where every other state, every other country wants to be here,â Gelsinger said.
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