TI plans $11B investment for second wafer fab in Lehi, Utah

Texas Instruments announced plans to build another 300 mm wafer fab in Lehi, Utah, next to an existing fab with plans to combine the two.

The $11 billion investment is the largest in Utah history, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. It is expected to bring 800 TI jobs to the area and thousands of indirect jobs.As part of the announcement, TI said it will invest $9 million to improve student outcomes at the nearby Alpine School District.

“With the anticipated growth of semiconductors in electronics, particularly in industrial and automotive, and the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, there is no better time to further invest in internal manufacturing capacity,” said Haviv Ilan, incoming CEO of TI.

TI hasn’t staked a claim for a specific funding request in the CHIPS Act, and expects to vie, if qualified, for part of the $52.7 billion along with several other large chipmakers, including one of the biggest proposals from Intel for fabs in Ohio.  The funding requests will be managed by the US Commerce Department, which recently said it will release a Notice of Funding Opportunity in late February for all commercial leading edge, current and mature node fabrication facilities.

"We will actively seek funding for any CHIPS and Science Act programs that we qualify for as we submit our grant application once applications are open. At this time, it is undetermined what benefit could be from the CHIPS Act grants," said company spokeswoman Ellen Fishpaw told Fierce Electronics via email. 

Lehi is considered ideal because of its access to skilled talent and is strong in infrastructure and community partners, the company said.

TI said it will build the facility to LEED Gold sustainability and plans to recycle water at almost twice the rate of the existing fab. The company gains from 300 mm wafer production because of the efficiencies and larger yield over smaller diameter wafers more typical in the market. It argues that these efficiencies also keep its costs low to chip buyers. Wafers provide the silicon substrate that is chopped up into chips, many much smaller than a fingernail.  

Tens of millions of analog and embedded processing chips will be made daily with the facility, expected to go into production as early as 2026. Construction will start later in 2023. TI is also building four new 300 mm wafer fabs in Sherman, Texas. It currently operates the existing LFAB in Lehi and DMOS6 in Dallas and RFAB2 and RFAB2 in Richardson, Texas, all devoted to 300 mm wafers. 

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