The GlobalFoundries campus, shown here in 2014, is in upstate...

The GlobalFoundries campus, shown here in 2014, is in upstate Malta. The Biden administration said on Feb. 19 that the government would provide $1.5 billion to the computer chip company to expand its domestic production in New York and Vermont. Credit: AP/John Carl D'Annibale/The Albany Times Union

ALBANY — How do U.S. chip manufacturers compete with the low-cost semiconductor manufacturing in China? Experts say look to New York State.

The Empire State’s nearly three decades of strategizing has resulted in tech giants such as GlobalFoundries, IBM, and soon Micron calling New York home for chip manufacturing and research.

The Biden administration's $1.5 billion investment in upstate Malta-based chips manufacturer GlobalFoundries, announced last month, further reflects the scale of chip research and manufacturing in the state. 

“Think of the New York model as the pilot for how the CHIPS Act was structured — supporting regional ecosystems with investments in research, manufacturing and workforce training as an integrated approach,” said Michael Fancher, director of the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials in Albany. “This is how we can compete with low-cost regions in Asia like China that offer lower wages, less environmental regulations and high levels of government investment.”

The state has leveraged the availability of its natural resources, such as access to hydropower from Niagara Falls, along with its higher education institutions, public-private partnerships and tax incentives, to create shovel-ready sites to draw in manufacturers, said Fancher, also senior research associate at the University at Albany College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering.

New York, along with Arizona, Oregon and Texas, is slated to play a role in the federal government’s push to increase domestic chip manufacturing, ending the reliance on overseas manufacturing while boosting U.S. supply chain resilience and national security.

The latest federal funding announcement means thousands of jobs, and an increase in demand for support companies and even businesses on Long Island that make manufacturing supplies such as water filters, Fancher said.

The opportunity means jobs from the technician level up to the senior scientist level, SUNY Polytechnic Institute president Winston Soboyejo said. “It’s really a huge impact, and it brings hope to many communities that were left behind when a number of industries went away,” he said.

Still, there are hurdles with manufacturers increasing the demand for energy and the considerable need for a highly skilled workforce, experts said.

Chips, also known as microchips and characterized by Vice President Kamala Harris as the “brain of modern technology,” are in everything from cars to cellphones and washing machines to military missiles. Chips are made at semiconductor fabrication plants, known as “fabs.”

The push to lure the semiconductor industry to New York began in 1997 with the Center for Economic Growth, an economic development organization based in the Capital Region, pushing the term “Tech Valley,” referring to a future hub of technology and educational institutions. Tech Valley now encompasses about 250 miles of the state from the North Country to the Capital Region, along with the Hudson and Mohawk valleys.

New York is sixth in the nation with 72 semiconductor establishments, including everything from large-scale fabs to smaller specialized manufacturing, according to 2022 data from the Semiconductor Industry Association, a trade and lobby group.

New York also is home to one of the top research facilities in the world, the Albany NanoTech Complex, which brings together research teams from some of the top semiconductor industry leaders, including IBM, GlobalFoundries, Samsung, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, ASML and Lam Research.

The complex, created in 1997, serves as an “anchor” for the semiconductor industry in New York, said Jim McGregor, founder and principal analyst of TIRIAS Research, an Arizona-based high-tech research and advisory firm.

Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island also has established itself as a leader in chip research. 

New York entices companies through tax incentives, such as credits and putting state dollars toward making shovel-ready sites, experts said.

The 2022 state budget included $200 million in grants to develop sites to draw in industry. That same year, the state passed the Green CHIPS legislation, which is slated to provide up to $10 billion in tax credits for semiconductor manufacturing facilities.

The law, championed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, positioned the state to benefit from the federal CHIPS and Science Act, which U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said he created with upstate in mind. The act specifically aims to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States.

The Biden administration on Feb. 19 announced $1.5 billion in direct funding, along with $1.6 billion in loans, to GlobalFoundries as part of the CHIPS Act to support a new state-of-the-art facility, expand capacity and modernize manufacturing sites in New York and Vermont. Overall, the public and private investments in the projects equates to about $12.5 billion, and over the next 10 years the projects are expected to create 1,500 manufacturing jobs and 9,000 construction jobs, according to U.S. officials.

“There’s not a lot of places in the country that are ready to host these sites, these fabs, because it does take a lot of prep,” Fancher said, adding that creating shovel-ready sites has been the key to New York’s success, along with the availability of water and power

“You can’t put all of these factories in one place. They’re just too big. They would suck up all the workforce. It’s not sustainable,” Fancher said. Locating the sites along the Interstate 90 corridor, about 2 hours apart from one another, is ideal, Fancher said.

The growth — with Micron set to build in Clay, GlobalFoundries growing in Malta, and the expansion in Marcy of Wolfspeed, the world’s only 200-mm silicon carbide fabrication facility — has signaled that New York “is definitely willing to work with the semiconductor industry to meet their needs,” McGregor said.

Workforce is a major resource New York can provide with its 64-campus SUNY system, 25-campus CUNY system, and more than 100 independent and private colleges and universities. “New York recognized 25 years ago that our competitive advantage was our higher education system,” Fancher said.

Competing with other countries is not about the lowest cost when it comes to semiconductors, he said, but “it is about the highest quality of people and regional quality of life.”

The larger manufacturers cluster their fabrication facilities because of the high cost of getting power and water to the location. Tool repair and support services are all co-located to ensure the fabs run continuously and smoothly. All of those services and vendors create jobs from the people building the facility to those working in it, as well to those working at supporting businesses.

“It’s almost like building a brand new city,” McGregor said.

But having enough skilled labor can be a challenge.

Along with the federal CHIPS funding, which included money for workforce training, the state has been boosting its investment in training programs. Colleges and universities also have been increasing their program offerings to meet the demand. 

One of the challenges is communicating the different job opportunities, said Crystal Griffith, director of workforce development for the Business Council of New York State. “People can’t take advantage of those opportunities if they don’t know they exist,” Griffith said.

The environmental footprint of these large-scale manufacturers poses another challenge, with fabs emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide and requiring an enormous amount of extremely pure water, experts said. 

The Green CHIPS program included a requirement that semiconductor projects adopt measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit environmental impact.

While some manufacturers have pledged to reduce their energy and water use, more needs to be done, McGregor said. “It’s definitely great for the future of New York State, but there has to be some kind of message of how they’re doing it sustainably as well,” he said.

ALBANY — How do U.S. chip manufacturers compete with the low-cost semiconductor manufacturing in China? Experts say look to New York State.

The Empire State’s nearly three decades of strategizing has resulted in tech giants such as GlobalFoundries, IBM, and soon Micron calling New York home for chip manufacturing and research.

The Biden administration's $1.5 billion investment in upstate Malta-based chips manufacturer GlobalFoundries, announced last month, further reflects the scale of chip research and manufacturing in the state. 

“Think of the New York model as the pilot for how the CHIPS Act was structured — supporting regional ecosystems with investments in research, manufacturing and workforce training as an integrated approach,” said Michael Fancher, director of the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials in Albany. “This is how we can compete with low-cost regions in Asia like China that offer lower wages, less environmental regulations and high levels of government investment.”

WHAT TO KNOW

  • New York State’s nearly three decades of strategizing has resulted in tech giants such as GlobalFoundries, IBM and soon Micron calling New York home for chip manufacturing and research.
  • The Biden administration's $1.5 billion investment in upstate Malta-based chips manufacturer GlobalFoundries, announced last month, reflects the scale of chip research and manufacturing in the state.
  • The latest federal funding announcement means thousands of jobs, and an increase in demand for support companies, officials said.

The state has leveraged the availability of its natural resources, such as access to hydropower from Niagara Falls, along with its higher education institutions, public-private partnerships and tax incentives, to create shovel-ready sites to draw in manufacturers, said Fancher, also senior research associate at the University at Albany College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering.

New York, along with Arizona, Oregon and Texas, is slated to play a role in the federal government’s push to increase domestic chip manufacturing, ending the reliance on overseas manufacturing while boosting U.S. supply chain resilience and national security.

The latest federal funding announcement means thousands of jobs, and an increase in demand for support companies and even businesses on Long Island that make manufacturing supplies such as water filters, Fancher said.

The opportunity means jobs from the technician level up to the senior scientist level, SUNY Polytechnic Institute president Winston Soboyejo said. “It’s really a huge impact, and it brings hope to many communities that were left behind when a number of industries went away,” he said.

Still, there are hurdles with manufacturers increasing the demand for energy and the considerable need for a highly skilled workforce, experts said.

Decades in the making

Chips, also known as microchips and characterized by Vice President Kamala Harris as the “brain of modern technology,” are in everything from cars to cellphones and washing machines to military missiles. Chips are made at semiconductor fabrication plants, known as “fabs.”

The push to lure the semiconductor industry to New York began in 1997 with the Center for Economic Growth, an economic development organization based in the Capital Region, pushing the term “Tech Valley,” referring to a future hub of technology and educational institutions. Tech Valley now encompasses about 250 miles of the state from the North Country to the Capital Region, along with the Hudson and Mohawk valleys.

New York is sixth in the nation with 72 semiconductor establishments, including everything from large-scale fabs to smaller specialized manufacturing, according to 2022 data from the Semiconductor Industry Association, a trade and lobby group.

New York also is home to one of the top research facilities in the world, the Albany NanoTech Complex, which brings together research teams from some of the top semiconductor industry leaders, including IBM, GlobalFoundries, Samsung, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, ASML and Lam Research.

The complex, created in 1997, serves as an “anchor” for the semiconductor industry in New York, said Jim McGregor, founder and principal analyst of TIRIAS Research, an Arizona-based high-tech research and advisory firm.

Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island also has established itself as a leader in chip research. 

Grants and tax credits

New York entices companies through tax incentives, such as credits and putting state dollars toward making shovel-ready sites, experts said.

The 2022 state budget included $200 million in grants to develop sites to draw in industry. That same year, the state passed the Green CHIPS legislation, which is slated to provide up to $10 billion in tax credits for semiconductor manufacturing facilities.

The law, championed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, positioned the state to benefit from the federal CHIPS and Science Act, which U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said he created with upstate in mind. The act specifically aims to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States.

The Biden administration on Feb. 19 announced $1.5 billion in direct funding, along with $1.6 billion in loans, to GlobalFoundries as part of the CHIPS Act to support a new state-of-the-art facility, expand capacity and modernize manufacturing sites in New York and Vermont. Overall, the public and private investments in the projects equates to about $12.5 billion, and over the next 10 years the projects are expected to create 1,500 manufacturing jobs and 9,000 construction jobs, according to U.S. officials.

Why New York?

“There’s not a lot of places in the country that are ready to host these sites, these fabs, because it does take a lot of prep,” Fancher said, adding that creating shovel-ready sites has been the key to New York’s success, along with the availability of water and power

“You can’t put all of these factories in one place. They’re just too big. They would suck up all the workforce. It’s not sustainable,” Fancher said. Locating the sites along the Interstate 90 corridor, about 2 hours apart from one another, is ideal, Fancher said.

The growth — with Micron set to build in Clay, GlobalFoundries growing in Malta, and the expansion in Marcy of Wolfspeed, the world’s only 200-mm silicon carbide fabrication facility — has signaled that New York “is definitely willing to work with the semiconductor industry to meet their needs,” McGregor said.

Workforce is a major resource New York can provide with its 64-campus SUNY system, 25-campus CUNY system, and more than 100 independent and private colleges and universities. “New York recognized 25 years ago that our competitive advantage was our higher education system,” Fancher said.

Competing with other countries is not about the lowest cost when it comes to semiconductors, he said, but “it is about the highest quality of people and regional quality of life.”

Workforce, environmental challenges

The larger manufacturers cluster their fabrication facilities because of the high cost of getting power and water to the location. Tool repair and support services are all co-located to ensure the fabs run continuously and smoothly. All of those services and vendors create jobs from the people building the facility to those working in it, as well to those working at supporting businesses.

“It’s almost like building a brand new city,” McGregor said.

But having enough skilled labor can be a challenge.

Along with the federal CHIPS funding, which included money for workforce training, the state has been boosting its investment in training programs. Colleges and universities also have been increasing their program offerings to meet the demand. 

One of the challenges is communicating the different job opportunities, said Crystal Griffith, director of workforce development for the Business Council of New York State. “People can’t take advantage of those opportunities if they don’t know they exist,” Griffith said.

The environmental footprint of these large-scale manufacturers poses another challenge, with fabs emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide and requiring an enormous amount of extremely pure water, experts said. 

The Green CHIPS program included a requirement that semiconductor projects adopt measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit environmental impact.

While some manufacturers have pledged to reduce their energy and water use, more needs to be done, McGregor said. “It’s definitely great for the future of New York State, but there has to be some kind of message of how they’re doing it sustainably as well,” he said.

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Gilgo-related search in Manorville ... UBS Arena MTV Awards ... Jericho fatal crash ... Girls softball league

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