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Intel to build $20 billion chip production site in Ohio

1,000-acre site for new semiconductor plants could house up to eight facilities

A mockup of Intel's Ohio semiconductor factories

Intel has announced it is investing $20 billion into a new manufacturing site on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, that will develop advanced semiconductor chips.

The tech giant plans to build two fabrication plants across a 1,000-acre site in New Albany, which will house around 3,000 permanent jobs.

The investment is part of Intel's new IDM 2.0 strategy, which includes new plants in Arizona and Ireland to boost its capacity for customers around the world. The plants will help the company tackle growing supply chain issues and meet surging demand for advanced semiconductors.

A rendering shows early plans for new Intel semiconductor factories in Licking County, Ohio

"Today's investment marks another significant way Intel is leading the effort to restore US semiconductor manufacturing leadership," Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, said. "Intel's actions will help build a more resilient supply chain and ensure reliable access to advanced semiconductors for years to come."

Gelsinger added that the new factories will create an American "epicentre" for advanced chipmaking with a domestic lab-to-fab pipeline. The initial fee of $20 billion is the first step with the tech giant potentially building an "eight-factory" complex that it said could cost "as much as $100 billion over the next decade".

Planning for the initial two factories will start immediately so that they're ready for construction later in the year. The company hopes its presence in Ohio will attract further investment into the region from its ecosystem partners and suppliers. This, the tech giant said, would not only benefit Ohio but will also have a "significant economic impact" on the broader US semiconductor industry.

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The new Ohio site spans nearly 1,000 acres and is considered the largest single private-sector investment in state history.

Chip shortages are expected to last into 2023, partly due to the time they take to build. Intel said production from its new Ohio factories won't bear fruit till 2025, so it is unlikely that Intel's expansion plans will alleviate the current increased demand. In the short term, Gelsinger's plans are more about helping Intel to win back its crown as the top manufacturer of semiconductor chips and put more pressure on leading companies, such as Taiwan-based TSMC.

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