Micron $40 Billion Memory Fab

The Six Five team discusses Micron’s $40 billion memory fab.

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Daniel Newman: This was also a really interesting week because, Pat, you had a great post on LinkedIn about all the flag planting by every CEO in the semiconductor space, whereas there was three or four that were actually really visible throughout the whole process, and then there were 100 that were taking pictures on the front lawn of the White House.

Patrick Moorhead: I’ve got to tell you, man, I got 20,000 views of that tweet. There were no graphics. And guess who the demographic who looked at it the most?

Daniel Newman: CEOs.

Patrick Moorhead: CEOs.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. Well, we know you’re watching.

Patrick Moorhead: We know who you are.

Daniel Newman: We know who you are. But yeah, I mean, your post was effectively just talking about the fact that there was a small subset of CEOs that took big interest in the CHIPS and Science Act, and then there were a number that were signing on and tagging along for the ride, but weren’t very active. And again, there’s different reasons and there’s certainly a disproportionate amount of dollars that could be attributed to certain companies. Those that are planning to build fabs and manufacture chips here in the US got more money. Now, there is another 200 billion that will be appropriated for various R&D and innovation that now maybe we’ll hear everybody come out and talk about, but that’s a little bit less the news, but I just couldn’t resist tying this in.

Patrick Moorhead: And by the way, the White House invites you, you’re going to go, but I had to bring it up.

Daniel Newman: Why didn’t we get invited?

Patrick Moorhead: I don’t know.

Daniel Newman: I did like 50 television appearances talking about how this needed to be done.

Patrick Moorhead: Brother, I know. In the Six Five Summit, I would say at least three quarters of the folks mentioned in one way or another the CHIPS Act. So I don’t know, maybe it’s my Twitter feed. I’m sorry, Daniel, if I blew your-

Daniel Newman: I think you got me banned.

Patrick Moorhead: I don’t know. Maybe they did a security check on you and they’re like, “Nope.”

Daniel Newman: Yeah. They were like, “Too much hair, too much hair.” All right. So like GlobalFoundries, Micron’s another big manufacturer, obviously in the memory space is the focus for Micron. And we’re going to talk quite a bit about Micron actually for the next 10 minutes. But the company announced now the plan to invest another $40 billion between now and 2030 to make chips in the US. Of course, this is going to be supported by the CHIPS and Science Act that got signed into law this week.

And in really good news, Micron has said; now, this is a big part of why we did it; this is going to create upwards of 40,000 jobs, including 5,000 highly paid technical and operational roles. This capacity would basically take the US market share of memory chip production from 2% to 10%. Huge deal. Now again, this is sort of an early flag plant, early into the post CHIPS and Science Act. I’m guessing that we’re going to hear more of these kinds of announcements from manufacturers, foundries, fabricators here in the US, but it was a big moment for the company. We’ve talked, Pat, probably, it feels like after last week, what do we do? The 232 NAND.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, 232-Layer NAND. Yeah.

Daniel Newman: This is less technical, but Micron’s come up more and more. And the long and short of it is the critical nature of memory as compute and performance continues to be enhanced is that memory has to come along for the ride. And Micron becomes a really awesome bellwether to how the monolithic and new packaging technologies are going to perform, because you know the memory has to come along for the ride. All these new technologies, all these new processes are going to require more memory. So effectively we’ve now had GlobalFoundries make the announcement, we’ve had Intel make their 100 billion announcement, and now Micron’s stepping up and making a 40 billion announcement.

Now just for reference, China has 40 projects right now if I understand it correctly, building more manufacturing capacity. Taiwan has 20 projects. So we’re still early days here. We might have put up 52 billion, and we may have heard from Micron, GlobalFoundries, and Intel, all expanding capacity, but we still got a lot of work left to do. But it’s good for Micron to continue investing here. It’s been a company that’s been investing here, planning to invest more here in the US, Pat. And it was just something worth calling out this week.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, I mean Chinese government invested $200 billion to build semiconductor plants. And what do we do here in the US is we put that $200 billion into woke programs who don’t actually move industry or science or national security forward. So yeah, I mean I do the golf clap on that 50 billion, but compared to what China is investing, it’s not a whole lot. And Daniel, I’m going to hit on I think just the strategic nature of memory and storage. So for years, 40, 50 years, it was really processors that were on top of the food chain that dictated the architecture, let’s say of a data center, or the architecture of a PC or a smartphone. And I could argue that you can affiliate that and I could argue that you can affiliate that or compare that, memory is so tightly coupled with compute that it’s as strategic. Now, with CXL, which is high speed interface and the ability to have memory as a composable piece of the architecture, it completely is going to change the architecture of the data centers. All the big data center folks are going to have to rearchitect it over the next five years. So, I can say with confidence that in the data center, memory has equal footing with processing and storage now, hence it’s importance and the addition of this $40 billion investment.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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