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New York plans to invest $1 billion to expand chip research

New York plans to invest $1 billion to expand chip research

Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York announced a $1 billion investment plan Monday to expand chip research operations in Albany, N.Y., as the state aims to remain a global semiconductor center.

The plan is expected to create 700 new permanent jobs and retain thousands more, and includes the purchase of a new version of one of the world’s most expensive and sophisticated manufacturing machines, as well as the construction of a new building to house it.

At an event in Albany, Governor Hochul positioned the investment as a national priority. “The Chinese are trying to dominate this industry,” she said. “We have no intention of letting that happen.” “

The initiative is expected to attract $9 billion in additional investment from chip-related companies, according to state officials. They expect it to increase New York’s chances of being selected to host a new National Semiconductor Technology Center, a planned centerpiece of the research portion of the federal money that Congress allocated in 2022 under the CHIPS Act.

“We hope this level of investment will attract more investment under the U.S. CHIPS Act to make it even more significant,” said Mukesh Khare, IBM vice president and general manager of its semiconductor operations. -drivers.

In addition to IBM, which has long conducted chip research in Albany, companies participating in the project include Micron Technology, Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron.

The focus of this effort is the Albany Nanotech Complex, a group of research buildings owned and operated by a state-affiliated nonprofit called NY CREATES. The state plans to spend about $500 million to build a new 50,000-square-foot clean room.

A different building is needed to accommodate the next major advance in a technology called lithography, which projects circuit patterns onto silicon wafers to make chips. Advances in this equipment are necessary to create transistors and other smaller circuits to increase the power of computers and other devices.

The most sophisticated chips today are made using a technology called extreme ultraviolet lithography, or EUV. Dutch company ASML is the dominant supplier of the machines, which U.S. and Dutch authorities have blocked from being sold to China as part of an effort to limit that country’s progress in chipmaking.

Albany Nanotech has prototype EUV tools and is currently operating a commercial version. Under the new plan, New York will invest $500 million to purchase a next-generation EUV system — known as “High NA,” for numerical aperture — that will allow the center to develop much more advanced chips.

In addition to permanent research jobs, state officials estimated the Albany project would generate 500 to 600 temporary construction jobs over about two years.

Albany NanoTech will not be the first to use the High NA tool. Intel ordered the first system from ASML, which is expected to begin installing it in early 2024. The comparable machine is expected to arrive in Albany in late 2025, Mr. Khare said.

The effort is unusual in several ways, including because the new machine will be publicly owned and operated as a public resource to help the U.S. semiconductor industry as a whole, he added.

The northeastern states of the United States appear destined to play an important role in the evolution of the chip industry. U.S. Commerce Department officials also said Monday that New Hampshire-based BAE Systems would receive the first grant under the manufacturing portion of the CHIPS Act.

Micron, a Boise, Idaho, company that is the only U.S. maker of chips used to store data, also announced it would spend up to $100 billion over a decade or more to develop a new manufacturing site near from Syracuse, New York.

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Mattie B. Jiménez

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