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U.S. Pours Money Into Chips, but Even Soaring Spending Has Limits


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Chips are an essential part of modern life even beyond the tech industrys creations, from military gear and cars to kitchen appliances and toys.

More than 35 companies have pledged nearly $200 billion for manufacturing projects related to chips since the spring of 2020, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Credit: Susan Burghart

In September, the chip giant Intel gathered officials at a patch of land near Columbus, Ohio, where it pledged to invest at least $20 billion in two new factories to make semiconductors.

A month later, Micron Technology celebrated a new manufacturing site near Syracuse, N.Y., where the chip company expected to spend $20 billion by the end of the decade and eventually perhaps five times that.

And in December, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company hosted a shindig in Phoenix, where it plans to triple its investment to $40 billion and build a second new factory to create advanced chips.

The pledges are part of an enormous ramp-up in U.S. chip-making plans over the past 18 months, the scale of which has been likened to Cold War-era investments in the space race. The boom has implications for global technological leadership and geopolitics, with the United States aiming to prevent China from becoming an advanced power in chips, the slices of silicon that have driven the creation of innovative computing devices like smartphones and virtual-reality goggles.

From The New York Times
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