Semiconductor Giant Eyes Texas For Chip Factory
Semiconductor giant Micron Technology is considering Central Texas as a location for a new chipmaking facility, which will be part of the company's $150B expansion plans, the Austin Business Journal reports, citing anonymous sources.
The Boise, Idaho-based chipmaker is reportedly scouting locations in Caldwell and Williamson counties, both of which are close to Austin and in fact are part of the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown MSA, as defined by the Census Bureau.
No decision has been made about the site selection, the ABJ reports, and the company is also considering other locations, such as Chatham County, North Carolina, according to the Triangle Business Journal. A new Micron plant there would represent an investment of at least $40B.
Chipmakers such as Micron are gearing up capacity to meet the high demand for semiconductors, whose short supply has been hampering economic growth worldwide. Various estimates say the shortage will persist through this year and perhaps well into 2023.
Texas has been a net attractor of tech operations in recent years, especially to greater Austin. In 2020, over 8,300 employers in the Austin metro area were in tech industries, with a total of more than 176,400 jobs, or 17.1% of all local jobs, compared to 9.2% nationally, according to the Austin Chamber.
Even the coronavirus pandemic hasn't put a dent in local tech growth. In 2020, Austin tech employment grew by 3.5% year-over-year, while the metro’s total jobs fell by 2.9%, the Chamber reports.
In November 2021, Samsung Electronic Co. picked Taylor, Texas, for a $17B chipmaking plant. The plant will eventually employ 18,000 workers in the city, which is northeast of Austin and has a population of about 16,200.
“This is the largest foreign direct investment in the state of Texas, ever,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in announcing the project.
Samsung is scheduled to start work on the plant this year. It is slated to begin operations in the second half of 2024.