The venture has the potential to turn the computer chip industry on its head because the state-funded school would essentially own the factories.
Although no tenants have been lined up, NanoCollege officials said the concept has gotten the attention of the risk-averse semiconductor industry.
"There is definitely interest in the site -- conversations are ongoing," NanoCollege spokesman
Traditionally, U.S. semiconductor companies have built their own chip fabs with government subsidies. But in the past decade the cost of the factories has skyrocketed from
The vacant land, known as the Marcy Nanocenter, has long played second fiddle to
The Marcy Nanocenter's biggest problem has been getting a federal wetlands permit from the
A new application, soon to be filed, will name the NanoCollege as the occupant of the site, and the school is planning for as many as three "mega-fabs" with a cost of up to
The development would be modeled on the NanoCollege's
Although private industry has shouldered most of the cost of the facilities, the state has retained ownership. The most recent facility built is NanoFab X, a
The companies, along with IBM and GlobalFoundries, have committed
The idea is that one of the companies -- or a group of companies -- would build fully operational 450mm fabs at the
The NanoCollege already controls most of the land at the site, along with the Mohawk Valley EDGE, a nonprofit group that has been developing the land and getting the necessary government approvals.
The NanoCollege is also building a new
The concept could potentially produce a 100-mile semiconductor R&D and manufacturing corridor along the Thruway that would have everything needed for a business to produce the latest chips -- from manufacturing concept to finished product. Exactly how construction would be financed has yet to be determined.
Some have also speculated that 450mm fabs will be so expensive to build and operate that multiple companies could operate or own a fab to share the costs and risks. The larger wafers -- about 18 inches across -- are difficult to handle and require larger machines and bigger buildings.
Last month, Mohawk Valley EDGE President
"It was a very productive meeting," DiMeo said. "All parties were extremely pleased."
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