Intel to build two chip factories in Ohio with possible expansion to eight

Intel confirms that it will build ‘at least’ two new chip factories in the US state of Ohio. Construction is due to start this year and the factories should be fully operational in 2025. Intel is investing $20 billion in the location.

Initially, two fabs are to be built at the New Albany site, near Columbus, Ohio. The location is about 405 hectares, the company says by TIME. Intel also has the option to expand the site by an additional 405 acres and build up to eight fabs.

“Our expectation is that this will become the largest silicon production site on the planet,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told the magazine. “We helped set up Silicon Valley, now we’re going to do the same with Silicon Heartland.” In addition to producing chips, Intel will also research and develop new chips at the site.

The chipmaker does not yet say how many chips can be made in the factories. Intel does say that it is partly an Intel Foundry Services location, and that Intel will therefore make its own chips there, as well as chips for other companies. The company also says that at least 3,000 employees are needed for the Ohio location.

Intel said last March it wanted more manufacturing sites in the US and Europe, in addition to the two new fabs in Arizona that are currently under construction and should be operational by 2024. The construction of those two chip factories will also cost 20 billion dollars.

The CEO tells TIME that Intel considered 38 different locations in the US, but that Ohio was the best place in the end. Partly because of financial incentives and cooperation from the local government, but also because there are many local colleges and universities from which Intel could recruit staff. Intel goes Friday night at 8:30 pm to announce more about the new production location.