WASHINGTON DC- The US Senate on Wednesday approved a $52 billion increase for the semiconductor industry, a major step forward in a multi-year effort to increase computer chip production on US soil.
Multiple current and future operations in upstate New York stand to benefit if, as expected, the House of Representatives also approves the legislation and sends it to President Joe Biden, who has indicated his support.
Among them is GlobalFoundries, which operates a co-located chip factory with its headquarters in Malta and has said it will build a second chip factory on adjacent land if demand for the products continues and if state financial assistance is forthcoming. and federal is offered.
After Wednesday’s vote, a company spokeswoman said the CHIPS Act would accelerate planning already begun for the second chip factory, which would be Fab 8.2.
The original chip factory, called Fab 8.0, employs about 3,000 people and is currently undergoing a more than $1 billion expansion in production capacity.
The years-long campaign to adopt CHIPS — Creating Meaningful Incentives for Semiconductor Production — is being touted as a boost for both the economy and national security of the United States.
The United States’ share of global semiconductor production has fallen in recent decades, leaving the country dependent on a foreign supply chain vulnerable to disruption from rivals. New chip factories have been built overseas because, according to the industry, foreign countries offer subsidies for building the expensive facilities.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, DN.Y., who has lobbied tirelessly for CHIPS, hailed its passage as a victory for the nation and for the state.
In a conference call with reporters, he particularly hailed its potential impact on upstate New York, calling microchips the modern equivalent of the Erie Canal, which 200 years ago transformed the economy of much of the upstate.
“This bill means reducing costs for families, strengthening our national security and bringing manufacturing back to upstate New York,” he said. “With its rare combination of a world-class workforce, cutting-edge manufacturers, and renowned institutions of higher learning, I wrote and championed this legislation with Upstate New York always in mind and now she is ready to reap the rewards. I want to see the future made in upstate New York.
In addition to two years of spending advocacy, Schumer has made several stops at GlobalFoundries, the Albany NanoTech Complex and other area tech sites to increase local support.
This is part of the approximately $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which also provides significant research funding to improve competitiveness with China. Nearly two-thirds of the Senate voted for it on Wednesday.
CHIPS funding includes:
- $39 billion in federal incentives to build, expand, or upgrade national facilities and equipment for semiconductor manufacturing, assembly, testing, advanced packaging, or research and development.
- $11 billion for Department of Commerce research and development, including the establishment of a national semiconductor technology center. (Albany NanoTech is an ideal candidate to host the center, and universities across the state are well-placed for research and development work, Schumer said.)
- $2 billion for defence-related purposes.
There would also be $200 million for workforce development, $10 billion for regional technology hubs, $13 billion for STEM workforce development, and $1.5 billion for the wireless supply chain.
Schumer also mentioned several potential beneficiaries across the state.
GlobalFoundries prepared the ground for the construction of Fab 8.2, securing the land purchase rights and construction approval from the city. But he did not commit to building it.
“Preliminary work is underway,” a spokeswoman said Wednesday. “As we have always said, the timing of this expansion will be determined by achieving the right business model, which includes investment and support from GlobalFoundries, our customers, New York State and the federal government. .”
She added: “Funding from CHIPS would help accelerate our expansion and add capacity to Fab 8, Malta. Our goal is to be as ready as possible when this economic model is achieved and the CHIPS Act is funded. As part of this forward momentum, we have engaged our regional and local government partners, including the cities of Malta and Stillwater, who have been consistent supporters and equal partners in the expansion planning process. of Fab 8.”
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