Micron just held a ground-breaking for its new, $15 billion memory fab in Boise, Idaho, which is exciting news for the American chip industry. The U.S. Government has incentivized tech companies to invest in domestic chip production via the CHIPS and Science Act signed into law early last month.
While advanced chip fabs have flourished in South Korea and Taiwan, thanks to companies like Samsung and TSMC (propped up by their local governments), increased U.S. manufacturing capacity stalled over cost concerns. However, Micron’s latest investment will become the first all-new memory manufacturing fab constructed within the U.S. in the past two decades. According to Micron, only 2 percent of memory available on the global market is produced domestically.
Micron’s current timetable states that actual construction on the Boise fab will commence in early 2023. Cleanroom space will become available in phases, starting in 2025. Later that year, Micron will be ramping production of DRAM products. However, the fab won’t operate full-tilt until the latter part of this decade, once the entire 600,000 square feet of cleanroom space becomes available.
In total, Micron expects to invest $15 billion into the new manufacturing facility, which will be in close proximity to its existing research and development center. In addition, Micron says it will employ up to 2,000 workers at the site once full-scale production is underway. However, the company adds that its investment will add over 17,000 jobs to the state. Micron will also commit additional resources to bolster K-12 and university-level education programs in the area.
“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 Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra today in a statement to the press.
“With today’s ground-breaking, Micron is helping realize a key goal of the CHIPS and Science Act: investing in local communities by creating good-paying jobs in scientific and technological fields that will power America’s future and increase our competitive advantage worldwide,” added Dr. Alondra Nelson, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Acting Director.
According to Micron, revenue from the memory sector is expected to double between now and 2030. Key growth categories that will rely on memory production ramps include artificial intelligence, 5G, data centers, and automobiles. Micron stands poised to leverage its Boise fab to capture a significant portion of that increased revenue and expects that U.S.-based DRAM production would account for 40% of its global output in the 2030s.