US sweetens Samsung’s giant Texas chip plant with $6.4bn

‘The size of 11 football fields’: Work under way on Samsung’s first Taylor factory, which is expected to open this year at a cost of $17bn (Samsung)

The US government has awarded Samsung $6.4bn to build extra chip fabrication facilities at the giant factory the Korean company is already building in Taylor, near Austin, Texas.

In exchange, the South Korean company will invest $40bn of its own money in the expansion.

The plan is to build a one-stop shop for semiconductors with research and development, design, fabrication and “packaging”, or adding the chip to a circuit board, The Washington Post reports.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters that the first fabrication plant would be “the size of 11 football fields”.

Samsung revealed its plans for Taylor at the end of 2021 with a $17bn investment.

Construction began in February 2022 and is due to finish this year.

The White House estimates that building the plants will require 17,000 construction workers, slightly more than the town’s population of 16,267 as counted in the 2020 Census.

When the complex is fully operating by 2030 it will employ some 4,500 employees, the White House added.

“We’re saying for the first time ever, Samsung can conduct in the US core research and development, support the future and manufacturing at scale and advanced packaging all in Texas,” Secretary Raimondo said.

Lael Brainard, the White House’s National Economic Adviser, said the return of leading-edge chip manufacturing to America was “a major new chapter in our semiconductor industry”.

Officials also said the investment would improve the US’ national security, because Samsung had committed itself to making chips directly for the Department of Defence.

The subsidy will be awarded under the Biden administration’s CHIPS and Science Act, a legislative package signed in August 2022 designed to incentivise domestic chip production.

The Samsung subsidy follows a similar agreement with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in which the US provided $6.6bn in exchange for a $25bn investment.

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