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Intel Eyes Ohio for Multi-Billion Chip Fab

Pat Gelsinger Intel
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel is on a mission to regain its dominance in the chipmaking industry, as outlined in its IDM 2.0 strategy. Intel has embraced expansion in countries like India and China, but what about focusing on the United States? According to a new report from Oregon Live, Intel has its eyes set on the Buckeye State for a new semiconductor fab.

Intel's current U.S. fabs are located in Chandler, Arizona; Rio Rancho, New Mexico; and Hillsboro, Oregon. Intel is now scoping out a site near Columbus, Ohio, for its newest chip fab. Exact details surrounding the announcement are being held close to the vest by both Intel and government officials. However, Intel reportedly reached out to Ohio politicians, including Governor Mike DeWine, in the closing days of 2021 to confirm the selection. 

Once confirmed, the new chip fab would register as one of the largest economic developments in state history. The fab allegedly will be constructed in the Columbus suburb of New Albany, which has a population of roughly 11,000. Intel's presence would shake things up quite a bit, as the company plans to employ several thousand employees at a site that could eventually sit within an economic development area encompassing 3,600 acres. 

More importantly to the state of Ohio, Intel would pump "tens of billions of dollars" into the area over several years. At this time, we have no information on what tax incentive packages Ohio officials offered to Intel, but those details will come at a later date. However, it stands to reason that the incentive package was highly lucrative and enough to sour Intel on a competing offer from the state of New York. Another factor to consider is that the site is a stone's throw from Ohio State University, which could supply a steady stream of fresh computer science and electrical engineering talent. 

It should be noted that Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has been one of the most vocal backers of the $52 billion CHIPS Act, which promotes domestic chip production to better position American semiconductor firms like Intel against Asian rivals TSMC and Samsung. TSMC and Samsung have received heavy government subsidies from Taiwan and South Korea, respectively, which has sparked their massive fab expansions, and in turn, helped them thrive in contract chip manufacturing. So naturally, Gelsinger wants a piece of that action. 

"How do you compete with a 30 to 40% subsidy," asked Gelsinger last month. "Because that means we are not competing with TSMC or Samsung, we are competing with Taiwan and Korea. The subsidies in China are even more significant."

An official announcement from Intel and top Ohio officials is expected to arrive soon.

Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.