With billions at stake, Oregon dukes it out with New York over Apple’s massive ‘Project Azalea’ chip fab

“Business Oregon — the state’s economic development agency — confirms that it’s recruiting a company that goes by the codename ‘Azalea.’ The department declined to discuss details of the effort, citing a nondisclosure agreement with the unnamed company,” Mike Rogoway and Christian Gaston report for The Oregonian. “However, officials in New York have been actively pursuing what’s known there as ‘Project Azalea.’ Documents obtained by The Business Review, an Albany, N.Y., weekly, describe that project as a 3.2-million-square-foot semiconductor factory that would employ at least 1,000 people.”

“The cost of building and equipping a new semiconductor factory — a fab, in the chip industry’s parlance — runs in the billions of dollars. That’s attracted great interest to the chatter around Azalea, which at this point is largely speculative,” Rogoway and Gaston report. “Within the chip industry, the theory is that the fab would be a contract facility to build microprocessors for Apple’s mobile devices, the iPhone and iPad.”

Rogoway and Gaston report, “Trade journal EETimes and others have reported that the consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has also looked at sites in California and Texas on behalf of Project Azalea… EETimes also has identified Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as the likely manufacturer behind Project Azalea. TSMC already has an older fab, WaferTech, in Camas, Wash., and has room to expand at the site. But there’s no evidence Project Azalea is looking there, and economic development officials in southwest Washington said Tuesday that they’d heard nothing about it.”

“While Oregon’s chip ecosystem is well established, New York has been working to grow its own — and has spent lavishly to that end. The state committed $2 billion in incentives to recruit contract manufacturer GlobalFoundries, which opened a factory earlier this year in Malta, a community in upstate New York,” Rogoway and Gaston report. “Oregon also has large property tax incentives at its disposal for business recruitment — Washington County values Intel’s current package of property tax exemptions at more than $500 million. But Oregon industry insiders say that the state’s incentives can’t compare with what New York — which has a much larger state budget and overall economy — can offer.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Get those tax breaks and other incentives lined up, NY, OR, CA, and TX!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple rumors bloom near Malta, NY: New speculation centers on GlobalFoundries as Cupertino’s chip maker – December 14, 2012
New York’s Capital Region may have Apple’s eye; Top-secret talks hint firm is weighing area for new plant – December 8, 2012


  1. I laugh my ass off every time I read about the incentives State and local governments will offer a new manufacturer, for locating in their jurisdiction. Most of thos incentives are offered to existing firm already operating, just looking to build a new plant.

    But in their quest for the best facility, any firm that decides to move off-shore is castigated as a traitor, exploiter of cheap labor, etc., when all they were doing is what business has been doing for centuries.

    And now Obama wants to raise the highest corporate rate in the world. Yeah, that’s the ticket, show them how much they are wanted.

  2. This Fab will go active in another 4 years or so. It takes a year to design, a year to build and a year or so to install of the tools. Three years minimum. Closer to 4. The Fab industry is moving fast. Apple want’s in, but it will stick with current suppliers for now. Can you imagine where Apple will be in 4 years? New products? Anything? This is a case of Apple playing ‘Long Ball’.

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