Micron plans $3 bn investment to expand plant in Virginia

Chipmaker Micron Technology plans to spend $3 billion over the next 12 years to expand a plant in Virginia 64 km west of Washington, D.C.
Micron TechnologyMicron Technology CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said the expansion aims to meet demand for chips in automobiles. The company expects that market to double to $6 billion by 2021, Reuters reported.

The money will be spent to build about 100,000 square feet of additional clean room space for making memory chips at Micron’s existing Manassas, Virginia factory, which employs about 1,500 people. Micron expects the expansion to create 1,100 permanent jobs for engineers and technicians once complete.

Boise, Idaho-based Micron is the world’s fourth largest semiconductor firm by revenue according to research firm Gartner.

Micron differs from much of the chip industry. It still makes its own chips rather than farming the work to contract factories and that it still makes many of its chips in the United States. It also makes chips in Singapore, Japan and Taiwan, but only performs assembly and test work in China.

Micron in 2015 rejected a takeover bid made by a state-backed Chinese company as China was trying to build out its chip industry, a development that the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer highlighted in a report in March about China’s trade practices.

Micron later alleged in a US lawsuit that a different Chinese firm stole its trade secrets. That firm in turn sued Micron in a Chinese court alleging Micron violated its patents, and the Chinese court banned some of Micron’s chips while the trial proceeds.

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