AMD commits to 300mm fab in upstate NY

June 26, 2006 – In another vote of support for the US’ semiconductor manufacturing industry, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) said it will build a new 300mm semiconductor manufacturing facility in upstate New York. AMD and the state together will invest approximately $3.2 billion — the largest industrial investment ever made in NY state, according to Governor George Pataki — with total investment reaching up to $5.0 billion over the next few years. AMD chose the site above other offers to locate the new fab near its operations in Asia and Dresden, Germany.

Under the agreement with the state, AMD can start groundbreaking of the mammoth 1.2 million sq. ft facility anytime between July 2007 and July 2009, at the 600 acre site in the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta, just north of Albany, NY. Operations would begin somewhere between 2010 and 2014, depending on construction start-up, and would increase capacity by nearly 50% over projected levels in 2008, according to a company rep. The site will create 2000 permanent jobs as well as 2000 construction jobs for up to two years, and another 3000 jobs for firms supporting plant operations.

AMD will invest approximately $2.6 billion on new equipment for the facility, which president and CEO Hector Ruiz hinted would focus on 32nm chipmaking process technologies.

“The Hudson Valley is going to be America’s next Silicon Valley, and we’re well on our way to achieving that now,” according to Pataki, in a press conference announcing the deal. New York will provide about $1 billion in incentives including grants for construction and equipment, tax credits, and other benefits, according to an Associated Press report. That includes a $150 million R&D grant to work with IBM in East Fishkill and the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics at the U. at Albany. The local economic development group will also receive hundreds of millions of dollars for infrastructure upgrades, such as roads, power, and sewer systems.

The signing of AMD’s fab is the US’ first greenfield fab in some time, and is the result of years of efforts and investments by the state to prepare the region to support this industry, noted LaMar Hill, former business director at Albany NanoTech, and now CEO of the International Alliance of Nanotechnology Regions, a newly launched nonprofit organization seeking to develop a global network of “hubs” for nanoelectronics/semiconductor and MEMS industries, including the northeastern US as well as France, Scotland, and the UK. He noted that New York’s focus on building up the region’s infrastructures for R&D (Albany Nanotech, Rochester Polytechnic Institute) and education (both collegiate and secondary levels) has put it at the head of a short list of similar industry hubs, e.g., IMEC in Belgium, as well as Dresden, Germany, and Austin, TX.

Hill suggested that the Luther Forest campus could support up to four advanced chipmaking facilities, plus another seven or eight “pods” capable of supporting several million sq. ft. of facilities for supply chain partners. Further, he suggested, the greater Hudson Valley and Mohawk Valley regions (extending about 90 miles out to Utica, NY) could support additional semiconductor manufacturing operations as well.

The announcement of this new fab in New York comes just weeks after AMD said it will pour $2.5 billion into its facilities in Dresden, to convert Fab 30 to 300mm and expand capacity at Fab 36, moves that together could increase overall capacity at the operations by up to 4x by 2009. First 65nm production shipments are expected in 4Q06, with the cross-over from 90nm to 65nm production scheduled for 1Q07 and full conversion anticipated in July 2007. Officials claim the company reportedly is on track for 45nm volume production by mid-2008.

Last year, AMD joined IBM, Infineon/Qimonda, and Micron as well as the state in investing $600 million over the next several years on research dubbed “INVENT” at the U. of Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


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