How to Build a $20 Billion Semiconductor Fab

published on 2024/05/05

The same shrinking and cheapening has happened for every semiconductor component. But at the same time, the facilities to manufacture them have become increasingly expensive. In the late 60s and early 70s, a semiconductor fabrication facility (or ‘fab’) cost on the order of $4 million (~$31 million in 2024 dollars). Today, a modern fab can cost $10-$20 billion or more. Intel is building a pair of fabs in Arizona which are projected to cost $15 billion apiece, and Samsung’s fab in Taylor, Texas is projected to cost $25 billion.

Construction Physics

This is a fascinating story on how to build the factories that build microchips, the foundation of modern life.