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New investment in semiconductor plant to increase technological growth in the state

Gov. Eric Holcomb is a White man with grey hair. He is framed by reporters who are holding microphones.
Violet Comber-Wilen
IPB News
Gov. Eric Holcomb discusses his thoughts on a global tech manufacturer's plans to invest almost $4 billion to build a new semiconductor plant in Indiana.

A global tech manufacturer plans to invest almost $4 billion to build a new semiconductor plant in Indiana. The South Korean-based company SK Hynix plans to produce next-generation memory chips for use in AI and other technology at the facility in West Lafayette.

Arati Prabhakar is the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She says these high-bandwidth memory, or HBM, chips are important to all aspects of technological growth.

“Look at what we’ve got — we’ve got cell phones, we’ve got computers of all different sorts, we’ve got this amazing advance in artificial intelligence, all because of semiconductors,” Prabhakar said.

She adds moving this kind of manufacturing to the United States is important for security and the economy.

“In more recent years, it [manufacturing] became dangerously concentrated in just one part of the world,” Prabhakar said. “And that has huge implications for our economy, whether it's jobs or how it ripples through the rest of the economy because of supply chains. It has huge implications for national security.”

Woojin Choi is with SK Hynix. He said these products are the foundation of artificial intelligence, which will make Indiana a hotspot for business and job growth.

“Talented people will be drawn to Indiana, not just for its great community, friendly people and top-tier basketball, but for the intellectual growth they will find here as it becomes a hub for scientific development,” Choi said.

Arun Venkataraman is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets with the U.S. Department of Commerce. He said this facility will also make supply chains stronger.

“We are witnessing another milestone with the announcement of plans for a state of the art, leading edge semiconductor manufacturing plant that can be a foundation for more jobs for workers and economic benefits to this and the surrounding communities,” Venkataraman said. “The facility also contributes to our work to strengthen the critical semiconductor supply chains that will revolutionize our economies, providing the processing power to take on the tremendous opportunities that processing-power-intense applications require.”

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) spoke about the CHIPS and Science Act, which he helped to author, during the event. He said this legislation was a step to show other countries that the United States was open for technological investments, and that he feels this played a part in South Korea’s investments in West Lafayette.

“Our federal investment in semiconductors signaled to the world that America is open for business,” he said. “And when America is open for business, that means Indiana is open for business.”

READ MORE: Indiana named a tech hub under federal CHIPS Act in 'major win for Hoosiers'

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Hyundong Cho is South Korea’s Ambassador to the United States. He said the economic partnership between the two countries is “robust.”

“The plant we are here to announce will be the first major facility in the United States for large-scale HBM packaging,” Cho said.

The facility will mass produce these HBM chips, which are critical for computers and training AI systems, and will develop future generations of chips. SK Hynix will also continue to work with Purdue University on future research and development projects.

The facility is expected to create as many as 800 jobs by the end of 2030. The state is offering up to roughly $700 million in conditional incentives.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at vcomberwilen@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.