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Micron announces huge expansion in Idaho. Here’s what we know

Business & Money

BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — One of Boise’s signature businesses announced a major expansion of its headquarters campus on Thursday.

Micron Technology Inc. plans to invest $15 billion through 2030 to build a new fab, or plant, for memory manufacturing at its Southeast Boise campus. Fab is short for semiconductor fabrication.

The company called it the largest private investment in Idaho history.

The fab will create more than 17,000 American jobs, including about 2,000 for Micron, the company predicted in a news release announcing the expansion.

The investment follows the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act by Congress, which was signed Aug. 9 by President Joe Biden. Incentives provided by Idaho also played a role, Micron said in its release.

“Our new leading-edge memory manufacturing fab will fuel U.S. technology leadership, ensuring a reliable domestic supply of semiconductors that is critical to economic and national security,” Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said.

The new fab will be the first built in the U.S. in 20 years, according to Micron. It ensures domestic production of DRAM, dynamic random-access memory, and NAND flash memory, which are used in computers, cell phones and other electronics. The country now gets most of its chips from Taiwan.

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said in a news release Thursday that the move is a once-in-a-generation investment in Boise.

“We looked hard at what we could do as a city to do our part to make sure this happened in and for our community knowing that, together with Micron, we will grow our economy, protect our open space and clean water and attract and sustain a diverse, dynamic workforce,” McLean said.

he company already has chip manufacturing plants in Virginia, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan, according to previous reporting by the Idaho Statesman. It sold its fab in Lehi, Utah, to Texas Instruments in 2021.

Mehrotra said in August that if Congress failed to pass the Chips and Science Act, business conditions would force the company and other semiconductor manufacturers to invest abroad, where costs are far lower.

The new fab in Boise will be located next to the company’s research and development center at its headquarters. Micron used to manufacture chips for sale on its Boise campus but stopped in 2009 and increased production at its other fabs.

About 7,000 people are employed at Micron in the Treasure Valley.

“Today’s announcement by Micron is another big win for America,” Biden said in a statement. “Just this week, we’ve seen First Solar, Toyota, Honda, and Corning make major announcements of new investments and new jobs as a direct result of my economic plan. In our future, we will make EVs, chips, fiber optics, and other critical components here in America, and we will have an economy built from the bottom up and middle out.”

As part of Micron’s commitment to Idaho, the company plans to expand investments in K-12 STEM education programs and focus on reaching underrepresented and rural students. It also plans to strengthen its relationships with the state’s universities with semiconductor engineering programs.

In its release Monday, Micron also announced a partnership with the College of Western Idaho to deliver curriculum such as Advanced Mechatronics Engineering Technology.

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