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Micron Tech Announces New Investments, Teases US Chip Production

Oct. 20, 2021
U.S. chip production is significantly more expensive here than elsewhere, the company said.

Micron Technology Inc. announced it would invest $150 million in new global manufacturing and R&D. A global manufacturer of computer memory and semiconductor chips, the new investments may include an expansion of U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, the company said in a release October 20.

CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, in a statement, said that memory chips like those produced by his company are critical to future technologies and praised government actions to improve semiconductor availability.

Memory “is at the leading edge of semiconductor manufacturing and fuels everything from feature-rich 5G smartphones to the AI-enabled cloud,” Mehrotra said. “We look forward to working with governments around the world, including in the U.S. here CHIPS funding and the FABS Act would open the door to new industry investments as we consider sites to support future expansion.”

Although Micron Technology is headquartered in Idaho, the company says manufacturing computer chips in the U.S. is prohibitively expensive. The company statement said memory manufacturing costs in the U.S. run 35-45% higher than in “lower-cost markets with established semiconductor ecosystems.”

Executive VP Manish Bhatia was blunt about the company needing extra money for new U.S. operations. “Sustained government support is essential for Micron to ensure a resilient supply chain and reinforce technology leadership for the long term,” he said.

Micron Technology operates in 13 countries, and says the majority of its R&D investments are spent in the United States at its Boise headquarters. The company has three manufacturing sites in the United States—Boise; Manassas, Virginia; and Lehi, Utah—and six overseas, including two plants in Taiwan and one each in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and China.

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