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Intel “mega-fab” coming to Ohio, reports say

Intel “mega-fab” coming to Ohio, reports say

Intel is reportedly planning to build a large chip facility in New Albany, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, the state capital. An official announcement is expected on January 21.

The company reportedly plans to invest $20 billion in the site, and the city of New Albany is working to annex up to 3,600 acres of land to accommodate the facility, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which first reported the deal.

Given the size of the parcel and the facility’s rumored price tag, it is likely the site of Intel’s “mega-fab,” which CEO Pat Gelsinger said would be like “a little city.” The mega-fab would contain six to eight modules, he said, and would focus on lithography processes and packaging techniques. Suppliers would have space on the site, too.

The mega-fab would also become a center for training new production engineers. Given the site’s proximity to Ohio State University, just 15 miles away, it’s likely that the company would partner with the university’s electrical engineering department. At the very least, it would provide a nearby source of potential future employees.

Intel declined to comment on the story when contacted by Ars.

Ohio and New York were competing for the facility, according the Plain Dealer. New York has a long history of semiconductor manufacturing dating back to the heyday of IBM. If Intel’s mega-fab does land in Ohio, it would be a coup for the state, which isn’t known to be a hub for major semiconductor firms.

Intel has fallen behind in recent years, but Gelsinger is pushing to bring the company back to the leading edge. To get there, he’s planning to make not only Intel chips but also chips for other companies. The semiconductor giant has already signed Qualcomm and Amazon Web Services, and Intel VP Klaus Schuegraf told Ars in October that more than 100 companies have expressed interest. If even a fraction of them follow through, they could help fill order capacity at the mega-fab.

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