Samsung has taken the first steps on the road towards erecting 11 new semiconductor factories in Texas. The company recently filed for 11 applications seeking tax breaks for building the facilities with the Taylor and Manor school districts. These applications, which fall within the Chapter 313 incentives program that's expiring this year, were posted Wednesday afternoon on the Texas comptroller's website, and would signify a $192 billion investment and the potential for around 10,000 jobs.
These are numbers usually reserved for federal-government level projects, and dwarf any single Intel investment announcement. It's also four times larger a commitment than even the struggling, $52 billion United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) is aiming to inject on domestic manufacturing capabilities. Its languishing in congress on account of bipartisan differences has even led Intel to delay groundbreaking on its new Ohio facilities, while threatening to move to greener fields in the heart of Europe.
Samsung's plan aims to build 11 new semiconductor facilities within two decades - with the earliest of them being projected for operation in 2034. Others would only come online towards 2042. If Samsung's intention materializes, the company would be pouring $217 billion towards Texan semiconductor manufacturing infrastructure, considering its recent announcement of a $17 billion manufacturing plant in Taylor, also in the Texas.
Of that investment, Samsung could see a $4.8 billion rebate on tax breaks alone.
"Samsung's commitment and investment in this area are in a class of their own," said Ed Latson, executive director of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association. "We're talking about the largest foreign investment in the United States right here in our region. It's going have a dramatic impact on the economic development and growth of Central Texas."
Nine of the new facilities will be located in Taylor as well, likely taking advantage of the required infrastructure investments already required for the first such fab. The remaining two are planned for Austin, where Samsung has had a presence since 1996. Its current Samsung Austin facility is currently tasked with both CPU and DRAM production.
If all Samsung's plans come to fruition, about 1,800 of the new jobs would be located in Austin and its $24.5 billion slice of the investment, while Taylor could see 8,200 new jobs through its $167.6 billion part. One quarter of Texas' output is already related to the semiconductor industry, and this share looks to only be going up.
Yet this is just the first step on a long, long road. Michele Glaze, a spokesperson for Samsung, clarified that filing the incentives applications is part of long-term planning for the company.
“We currently do not have specific plans to build at this time, however, the Chapter 313 applications to the state of Texas are part of a long-term planning process of Samsung to evaluate the viability of potentially building additional fabrication plants in the United States," Glaze wrote.
Naturally, Texan infrastructure too would have to receive sizable investments to accommodate the new facilities and related requirements in terms of manpower, power delivery and assorted logistics.
Samsung Austin was in the news on January this year due to a spillage that let out 763,000 gallons (2.8 million liters) of toxic waste affecting local ecosystems. According to a report published by an Environmental Officer working for Austin City Council, the effects were so severe they resulted in "virtually no surviving aquatic life".
Samsung's investment plan comes in wake of a somewhat faltering manufacturing business unit. The NAND market has become flooded with aggressive, technologically-capable manufacturers. YMTC has announced its 172-layer 3D NAND tech, Micron also recently disclosed its new 232-layer solutions, all while Kioxia mulls the 7-bit-per-cell route for a dramatic increase in NAND density.
Macroeconomics aren't helping either, as the PC market is expected to shrink year-over-year compared to 2021, leading to unsold inventory and forcing manufacturers to cut prices in order to move stalled products.