Samsung’s Jay Y. Lee Visits US, Expected To Finalise Decision on New Chip Plant Location

With the U.S. looking to bring chip manufacturing back to its shores, Samsung looks set to announce where its newest factory will be built in the states.

Samsung vice chairman Jay Y. Lee / Credit: Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images

Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee is visiting the U.S. with plans to possibly finalise the company's decision on where the new US$17 billion semiconductor plant would be located. This visit is Lee's first high-profile trip after serving time in prison for bribery.


Lee told reporters that he is "set to meet many U.S. partners" during his visit to the country before his flight on 14 November 2021. However, Lee did not elaborate on his statement.


A source familiar with the matter said that Samsung has been reviewing government incentives, financial responsibilities and other agreements since the company confirmed the construction plan in May 2021. He also said that the company has also considered the availability of vital utilities such as water and electricity.


The source requested anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.


Previous reports stated that Samsung currently has its sights on Texas' Williamson County, situated near the city of Taylor, as the location of its newest semiconductor plant in the U.S. The company expects this new semiconductor plant to make advanced logic semiconductor chips and possibly create about 1,800 new jobs.

President Biden holding a silicon wafer during the Summit on Semiconductor and Supply Chain Resilience / Credit: Getty Images

You may remember the U.S. president announced that he would strengthen the U.S.' supply chain of critical goods through the American Jobs Plan, which includes a US$50 billion investment in semiconductor manufacturing and research to be used for the CHIPS act.


"We're investing aggressively in areas like semiconductors and batteries. That's what [China and the rest of the world] are doing and others; so must we," President Biden said during the summit.

The shortage of semiconductors in the U.S. affected many industries in the U.S., including the consumer tech industry and the electric vehicle industry. Credit: Jonas Svidras on Unsplash

The CHIPS Act, or more formally known as the CHIPS for America Act, is a bill that establishes investment and incentives to support U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, research and development as well as supply chain security. These incentives include an income tax credit for semiconductor equipment or manufacturing facility investment through 2026.


A trust fund would also be established under the CHIPS Act and granted to foreign government partners to promote consistency in policies related to microelectronics, transparency in microelectronic supply chains and alignment in policies towards nonmarket economies. However, this trust fund would only be granted after a foreign government partner agreement has been reached.


The U.S. has been working on becoming self-sufficient in semiconductors to avoid being affected by another incident similar to the current semiconductor shortage and to become independent from China's semiconductor industry.


With major shortages in the semiconductor industry, electronics have been in short supply all around the world, no thanks to the pandemic also resulting in more people working from home. Companies ranging from car manufacturers to gaming console companies have cut their production estimates due to the lack of materials, and the shortage is predicted to last all through 2022 and even possibly until 2023.

 

Written by John Paul Joaquin

 

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