Tue, 06 Jun 2023

SAN FRANCISCO, California: US semiconductor toolmaker Applied Materials Inc has said it plans to spend up to $4 billion on a research center in the heart of Silicon Valley to speed up advances in semiconductor manufacturing.

The center, based in Sunnyvale, California, will come on line in 2026 and create up to 2,000 engineering jobs, said Applied, the world's largest maker of tools used in manufacturing chips.

The facility will host about $25 billion in research work over its first decade, pulling together staff from research universities and chipmakers, such as Intel Corp, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and Samsung Electronics, among others.

The announcement comes as the US is trying to bring back advanced semiconductor manufacturing, with a $52 billion measure passed last year in Congress.

Applied Materials said it will invest in the new facility, called the Equipment and Process Innovation and Commercialization (EPIC) Center over seven years, and aims to receive government subsidies through the CHIPS and Science Act.

In an interview with Reuters, Gary Dickerson, CEO of Applied Materials, said, "We are absolutely going to go forward. The scale of how fast we invest is going to be tied to the government incentives."

While announcing the news at Applied Materials' Silicon Valley event, US Vice President Kamala Harris said the investments were the outcome of the administration's incentives.

"When completed, it will be the largest such facility in the world. And of course, it will contain some of the most cutting-edge technology. These investments also strengthen our national security by making sure that we have the capacity to produce semiconductors here at home," Harris said.

Senior administration officials briefing the media ahead of the event said the Commerce Department has received more than 300 statements of interest for the $39 billion portion of the CHIPS Act for manufacturing incentives.

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