a Taiwan-based technology company, unveiled a plan on Monday to build a $5 billion factory in Sherman, Texas, to manufacture silicon wafers, a key material used in the production of semiconductors.
The investment, which would receive U.S. government support should Congress pass pending legislation, will contribute to a U.S. effort to boost domestic production of advanced semiconductors and reduce reliance on imports by supplying materials to companies such as Intel Corp. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. These leading semiconductor manufacturers have pledged significant investments in new U.S. factories to make chips to meet strong demand, and to relieve shortages that have disrupted production of a range of products, including automobiles.
The existing U.S. manufacturing capacity of silicon wafers will be able to supply only 20% of the estimated domestic demand by 2025, and the wafers won’t be suitable for some of the advanced chips planned to be manufactured at the new production facilities currently being built by Intel, TSMC and Samsung Electronics Co., GlobalWafers said.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said GlobalWafers’ investment is a win for the U.S. effort to beef up a weak domestic semiconductor supply chain at a time when major nations, including South Korea, Japan and members of the European Union, are competing to attract new investments with hefty subsidies, part of their own attempts to ensure stable supplies of chips needed for everything from cellphones to rocket launchers.
An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com.
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