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Intel CEO Attends State of the Union as Biden Pushes Chips Act

Pat Gelsinger at the SOTU
(Image credit: ABC News)

President Joe Biden used a portion of his first State of the Union address in an attempt to garner congressional support for the CHIPS act, which would provide chipmakers with $52 billion in subsidies to make chips in the United States.

Intel's CEO Pat Gelsinger was in attendance, and, when mentioned by the president, received a standing ovation from the crowd.

The rapturous applause for Gelsinger came after Biden told the massed attendees that Intel was ready to increase its planned US investments "from $20 billion to $100 billion." All that needs to be done, said Biden, is for Congress to pass the Chips Act.

In the address (embedded above), Biden turned his focus to the Chip Act and Intel's $100 billion, 1,000-acre Ohio mega site. The site of Intel's new mega site is 20 miles east of Columbus, Ohio and Biden likens it to a “Field of dreams, the ground on which America’s future will be built."

The site will create up to 10,000 new jobs across eight state-of-the-art factories which will produce the chips necessary for "Smartphones. The Internet. Technology we have yet to invent."

President Biden then introduced the fivefold increase in Intel's investment, a manufacturing investment claimed to be one of the biggest in American history. "Intel’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, who is here tonight, told me they are ready to increase their investment from $20 billion to $100 billion."

President Biden then stated that he is waiting for Congress to pass the bill and that "Intel is not alone." Hinting that there are other industries choosing to build new factories in the United States.

The significant uplift in Intel's US investments from $20 billion to $100 billion won't be a surprise to our regular readers. Back in January we reported on the new Ohio "mega site" being formed from an initial investment of $20 billion. This would be instrumental to getting the first pair of Ohio fabs up and running by 2025.

Our previous report also mentioned Intel's intentions to create up to eight semiconductor production facilities costing up to $100 billion in Ohio. Gelsinger seems to have wisely made this extension conditional upon support from the Chip Act becoming available.

We don't have any official information about what the technology to be deployed at the new Ohio fabs, or what they will be producing. Of course, the commissioning date of 2025 is still a long way away in tech. However, according to the latest Intel roadmaps, cutting edge foundries will be producing chips on the Intel 18A process by 2024, so we should perhaps expect something beyond any roadmaps we have seen so far.

Mark Tyson
Mark Tyson

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.