Micron will invest up to $100 billion over 20-plus years to build the largest DRAM fab in US history.
This megafab will be located in Clay, north of Syracuse, New York State, near to Lake Ontario and its water supply, and create nearly 50,000 jobs. The site can accommodate four fabs, each with 600,000 square foot cleanrooms, and 7.2 million square feet for the site overall. This is Micron’s largest ever investment. The first phase is planned is to build a single fab by the end of the decade, it will cost $20 billion and generate up to 3,000 jobs.
Micron president and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said: “This historic leading-edge memory megafab in Central New York will deliver benefits beyond the semiconductor industry by strengthening US technology leadership as well as economic and national security, driving American innovation and competitiveness for decades to come.”
This fab plan is due to the CHIPS and Science Act, which set up a $52 billion fund to strengthen US semiconductor chip fabrication in response to China’s growth and self-sufficiency goals. Micron’s strategy is to get 40 percent of advanced DRAM production output from its US plants in the next decade.
Work in preparing the 1,300-acre site in the White Pine Commerce Park will begin next year, with construction starting in 2024. Production will ramp up in the 2025-2030 period in line with market demand, which is currently trending downwards.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, the senior senator from New York, said: “After years of work, it’s official – Micron is coming to Central New York! With the CHIPS and Science bill, I wrote and championed as the fuse, Micron’s $100 billion investment in Upstate New York will fundamentally transform the region into a global hub for manufacturing and bring tens of thousands of good-paying high-tech and construction jobs to Central New York.”
He added: “This is our Erie Canal moment. Just as the original Erie Canal did centuries ago, this 21st Century Erie Canal will flow through the heart of Central New York and redefine Upstate New York’s place in the global economy for generations to come.”
Grants and greeness
There will be $5.5 billion in tax credit incentives from New York State over the life of the megafab project alongside federal grants and tax credits in the CHIPS Act. The town of Clay and Onondaga County are both providing infrastructure support, with the state saying it would spend $200 million to improve the infrastructure around the site, including roads. Altogether there could be up to 9,000 jobs at the site over the next 20 years. These would be accompanied by up 40,000 additional jobs in construction and the supply chain, locally in the Syracuse area and also in New York State generally.
Micron ($250 million), New York State ($100 million) and local, state and national bodies ($150 million) will spend up to $500 million on a program to benefit the community. Micron will work with the state and other partners to form a local Community Advisory Committee to provide inputs into additional future investments from this fund.
Onondaga County is providing Syracuse University with $10 million for a semiconductor R&D center and boosting chip industry skills development at its community college with a $5 million program.
Micron said it aims to use 100 percent renewable electricity at the new fab, plus green infrastructure and sustainable building attributes for the construction to get Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold status. The megafab’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) will be mitigated and controlled using state-of-the-art technology. Micron says it has a global target to achieve a 42 percent reduction in GHG from its operations by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.
The company has a small DRAM and NAND fab in Manassas, Virginia. Its main DRAM fabs are in Taiwan and Japan, and its NAND is primarily made in Singapore. Micron has just been awarded a grant of up to ¥46.6 billion ($320 million) by the Japanese government to help produce new DRAM chips at its Hiroshima plant.
It started work at Boise, Idaho, on a new fab with a 600,000 square foot cleanroom, costing $15 billion, in September. This is aided by CHIPS Act grants as well. Construction is expected to begin in early 2023, with cleanroom space coming online in phases starting in 2025. New DRAM production is targeted to start in 2025 and will ramp up during the 2025-2030 period inline with industry demand.
In July last year Micron sold its Lehi fab, used to produce 3D XPoint chips, to Texas Instruments for $1.5 billion.
At full production the Syracuse megafab could take in up to 10 million gallons of water each day. The city of Syracuse uses 40 million gallons a day on average.