Intel semiconductor campus announcement

The following remarks were delivered at the Midland Theatre in Newark, Ohio, on Friday, January 21, 2022.

See Ohio State News for additional information about Intel's announcement to build a semiconductor manufacturing campus in Licking County, Ohio.



What a great day for Ohio!

And what a great day for the United States!

I want to thank everyone who made this happen — too many to name — but especially Governor Mike DeWine; Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted; members of the Ohio General Assembly; JobsOhio President and CEO JP Nauseef; Columbus Partnership CEO Kenny McDonald; and Dr. Grace Wang, Executive Vice President of the Enterprise for Research, Innovation and Knowledge at Ohio State. I also want to recognize U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Rob Portman, and Congressman Troy Balderston, and thank them for joining us for this historic announcement.

As we welcome Mr. Pat Gelsinger and Intel, I am so honored to represent Ohio’s exceptional higher education sector. I know that the state’s deep and broad educational resources were key to Intel’s decision to choose Ohio for this semiconductor campus.

And we are all here to help you achieve the vision for Intel and the United States that you shared with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes — to rebalance the global chipmaking capacity. Today, the majority of advanced semiconductor devices are fabricated by Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC and Korean chip manufacturer Samsung. I know both of these organizations well. I designed chips fabricated by TSMC, and I collaborated with Samsung on integrating these silicon-photonic devices into rear projection display systems.

It is truly exciting that Intel is going to put the United States back in the business of state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing, right at home, right here in Ohio.

I hope you don’t mind, I am going to go off script here, Pat, just to say, over the past 40 years, we’ve watched Moore’s law shrink transistor line widths from microns to nanometers — and soon, to angstroms — driving up on-chip transistor density by a million. We’ve also watched Moore’s second law become a reality — that the cost of semiconductor processing facilities also grows nonlinearly — which is why this investment is even more remarkable, 40 years on.

But success here will require well-educated scientists, engineers, technicians and managers.

Mr. Gelsinger, at the time you joined Intel, I was carrying out independent research in the cleanrooms of our alma mater, learning about semiconductor and photolithographic processing. I was taught by technicians who had gone through the Foothills Community College semiconductor processing curriculum.

So, I saw firsthand the importance of a really skilled technical workforce and the power of connecting two-year and four-year research institutions.

As a leading research and land-grant institution, The Ohio State University is delighted to partner with Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner — and with the state’s 14 public universities, 24 regional campuses, 23 community colleges and 52 technical centers — on projects that include faculty training and curriculum development — all with the goal of preparing a workforce to support the semiconductor industry for decades to come.

And Mr. Gelsinger, I think you will discover that our community spirit here in Ohio is just as great as our intellectual heft.

Our wonderful partner Columbus State Community College, led by President David Harrison, is ready to teach technicians and operators for the Intel campus.

At Ohio State, we are well-prepared to produce the engineers, scientists and business professionals that this project needs — while enabling exciting collaborations with Intel to advance research and to serve our country.

In support of a high-tech renaissance in manufacturing, Ohio State recently launched a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering technology, with a concentration in manufacturing, on our regional campuses. Under the leadership of deans Ayanna Howard and William MacDonald, the program is coming soon to Ohio State Newark.

Let me close with a few observations.

On your way into Newark today, you might have noticed the absence of new cars in dealership parking lots — which is, of course, about carmakers’ inability to get semiconductor chips. Semiconductor manufacturers around the globe simply cannot keep up with the pandemic-induced demand.

As smartphone makers, defense contractors, information and communications technology companies, medical-device makers, and appliance manufacturers all vie for chips, there are serious economic and national security risks if we don’t boost chip making in the United States.

So, today, as we celebrate a great step forward in Ohio’s transformation into the “Silicon Heartland,” let’s also celebrate this as a win for the national interest — and the new possibilities for our current and future students.

Given our increasingly diverse student bodies, Intel’s semiconductor campus and the many spin-out jobs it will generate can help close racial, ethnic and gender gaps in STEM employment and income, because the median STEM jobs pay 65% more than non-STEM jobs.

At Ohio State, as at Intel, those of us who have great lives because of our own access to STEM and STEAMM education are committed to spreading such opportunities as widely as possible.

Obviously, today is just the start of something very big. The need for Intel’s semiconductors is only going to grow as our digital economy expands and as we apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to the many challenges in our world.

I am so glad that this is happening in a state that has made such intelligent investments in higher education — and that is ready to lead a global economy that is growing ever smarter, faster and more sustainable.

Thank you, again, and now, I would like to ask Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted to come to the podium.