Leaving behind its 3D XPoint initiative with Intel, Micron is taking steps to expand its production capacity in Japan. The company is also considering the US for a DRAM factory, but that process will depend on tax incentives and support from the US Congress.

Micron Technology has announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Hiroshima prefecture in western Japan. The tech giant’s new chip factory, which moved away from the consumer market after selling its 3D XPoint factory to Texas Instruments, will produce advanced DRAM for the data center.

According to the Nikkan Kogyo newspaper, the project will cost around 800 billion yen (about $7 billion) and Micron is currently in the process of purchasing land near its current campus in Hiroshima. On the other hand, it was stated that the company held talks with Japanese authorities and these talks were progressing well. If all goes as planned, the new facility will be operational in 2024.

Micron is also making plans to build a memory factory in the US. This decision will be difficult to make, as the cost of setting up a chip factory in North America is 45% higher than in Asia.

Sumit Sadana, Micron’s vice president and chief operating officer, believes more memory chips should be manufactured in the US, as they represent about 30 percent of the global semiconductor market. Currently, only two percent of all memory chips are made in the United States, and Sadana says increasing that number is a matter of both national security and supply chain flexibility.

Like other companies in the semiconductor space, Micron plans to invest up to $150 billion in research and development over the next decade, as well as expanding its manufacturing capacity.

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Michael Lewis


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