WASHINGTON, D.C. — Semiconductor maker Intel plans to build the largest AI chip factory in the world in Ohio. The move comes after the company received $8.5 billion in grants and $11 billion in loans to build semiconductor production facilities across four states.

What You Need To Know

  • The Biden administration, as well as some Ohio lawmakers, are betting that building more semiconductor chips in America will strengthen supply chains and national security

  • Billions of new dollars in federal assistance were announced to further that plan through two new Intel chip factories

  • The facilities are expected to begin production in 2027 or 2028

The funds allocated from the CHIPS and Science Act will go toward an ongoing project to build two Intel semiconductor factories just outside Columbus.

Ohio lawmakers who worked to pass the CHIPS Act, such as Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said the new investment would bring manufacturing jobs back to the state.

The two silicon chip factories will employ 3,000 permanent workers and another 7,000 temporary workers during construction, according to Intel.

“Carpenters, bricklayers, electricians, pipefitters and laborers,” Brown said. “We need 7,000 union tradespeople in the next 10 years on this project alone.”

The U.S. currently produces 12% of the world’s chips, relying on other countries for the vital technology used in everything from smartphones and cars to medical equipment.

Biden administration official said domestic chip production would strengthen supply chain resilience.

“This is the single largest investment in Ohio in history,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “That’s going to allow us to never be held hostage by other countries because they’re producing all the chips. We’ll be able to ensure our national security and our economic security going forward.”

The plan comes as the Department of Commerce has ramped up restrictions on semiconductor chip exports to China. That could affect Intel’s bottom line, as China made up 27 percent of the company’s $54 billion in sales last year. Officials, though, said the restrictions were necessary for national security.

“We need to protect our national security by preventing countries that would use chips to advance their military goals,” Graves said.

Four Ohio congressmen voted against the CHIPS and Science Act: Reps. Bob Latta, Brad Wenstrup, Warren Davidson and Jim Jordan, who said the bill’s spending would increase the federal budget deficit, as well as increase inflation.

All four Republicans later signed a letter calling on the Department of Commerce to use the CHIPS Act funding for the Ohio semiconductor project. None of the four could be reached for comment on Monday.