Taiwan-based Global Wafers broke ground on a new 300-millimeter silicon wafer fabrication plant in Sherman, Texas on Dec. 1. The factory is an early success of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 recently signed into law with the goal of providing support for American semiconductor manufacturing.
The $5 billion instillation is the first silicon wafer plant in the United States in 20-years. GlobalWafers, the third-largest silicon wafer manufacturing company in the world, announced that the plant will provide a significant boost to the U.S. domestic supply of silicon and that cited the CHIPS Act as helping bring the factory to fruition. Construction is expected to take around two years.
Taiwan and Texas have a long tradition of cooperation and exchanges on technology going back to the days of the first semiconductor invented by Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments in 1958. Taiwanese companies founded by Texas Instruments alumni helped usher in the Information Age and now those companies are investing in Texas and the United States.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by international, federal, and local officials. A U.S. Department of Commerce official who gave remarks noted that over 90 percent of the most advanced semiconductors are made in Taiwan or by Taiwanese companies. He stated that a primary goal of the CHIPS Act is to strengthen international supply chain resilience in the industry after supply issues occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taiwan’s Representative to the United States Ambassador Bi-khim Hsiao also spoke at the ceremony, praising the Taiwan-Texas partnership as diverse, vibrant, and mutually beneficial. She said that foreign direct investments like the GlobalWafers factory are one way that Taiwan works with the United States to boost supply chain resilience and support a free and open global economic environment.
GlobalWafers chose Texas over competing sites in Ohio and South Korea as the location for this new factory due to the business-friendly environment which has long attracted Taiwanese enterprise. The high-level of trust present in the U.S.-Taiwan partnership is why the two can work so closely on semiconductors. A stable supply of semiconductors is important to economic health and national security. Together, Taiwan, Texas, and the United States are working to ensure economic and security needs are met.
Robert Lo, Director-General
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston