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Micron breaks ground for new Boise fab

Idaho Governor Brad Little attended the groundbreaking for the new Micron Boise Fab on Monday.

BOISE, Idaho — Micron broke ground on Monday for their new memory fab in Boise, attended by Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean, Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, and U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

The facility will be the first new memory-manufacturing fab built in the U.S. in 20 years and will ensure a domestic supply of advanced memory chips required for market segments such as the automotive industry and data centers, Micron said in a news release in early September.

The fab will create over 17,000 new American jobs, including approximately 2,000 direct Micron jobs, by the end of the decade, Micron said. This was all made possible by the approval of the CHIPS and Science Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden in August. Biden called the announcement in Boise "another big win for America."

The two Idaho U.S Senators, Risch and Mike Crapo, in July voted "no" on the legislation that included the CHIPS Act -- but it passed anyway.

Sen. Risch helped write the initial CHIPS Act in 2020. However, other lawmakers added a provision to the legislation authorizing $200 billion for spending.

Both Sen. Crapo and Sen. Risch called this spending "unrelated" to semiconductors and withdrew their support from the legislation for that reason, despite supporting the original intent of the bill.

To bring manufacturing back to the United States, legislation such as the CHIPS is entirely necessary, Mehrotra said. Oversea governments provide incentives to attract tech manufacturing operations.

Tech companies can save 35-45% on manufacturing costs by utilizing these benefits overseas, according to Mehrotra.

"Leading-edge technologies are being produced overseas today. This is what CHIPS legislation has enabled -- now it provides the level playing field to bring manufacturing into the U.S.," Mehrotra said.

Micron's existing facilities in Boise are focused on research and development. Micron expects having a new fab and its existing R&D on the same campus will bring significant benefits.

"Ultimately translate into expedition of time to market of new innovative breakthrough products. This will be a huge win for Micron, our customers, but most importantly for America," Mehrotra said.

Micron plans to partner with the College of Western Idaho as well as universities in the region to develop a local workforce for the new facility that will soon take shape in the city where the company was founded in 1978.

"The state, the city have been strong partners of Micron over the years, so this is a natural place for us to bring research and development and manufacturing together to accelerate time-to-market of innovative breakthrough technologies," Mehrotra said.

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