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Onondaga County, Syracuse University to invest $20 million for semiconductor manufacturing center

An artist rendering of the Center for Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing at Syracuse University
Syracuse University
An artist rendering of the Center for Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing at Syracuse University

Onondaga County and Syracuse University are joining forces to create a semiconductor manufacturing center that will lead the way in researching the chip manufacturing process.

The $100 million project will transform a portion of SU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science into a Center for Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing. A collaboration like this is a first, according to Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, but is something that fits perfectly with Micron’s $100 billion plan to build four chip-making facilities in the town of Clay.

“We knew we needed that R&D component to this to really build from early childhood to that graduate R&D prospect,” McMahon said. “We needed the university to put together the team and put together the vision that would complement other investments and not compete with it. And took some time, but here we are."

Onondaga County is chipping in $10 million that was allocated when Micron first announced its plans, and the university will invest another $10 million. This new center will drive progress in manufacturing process across the semiconductor supply chain. It will also focus on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and robotics to figure out a better way to make a computer chip.

SU Vice Chancellor and Provost Gretchen Ritter calls it a new era for the university and Onondaga County, and says it mimics other successful communities.

“They really have done it through an alignment of forward looking leaders in county government, state government, in industry and in academia,” said Ritter. “I'm thinking about places like Austin, places like Pittsburgh. We've got that alignment here. So I think it’s a moment where we can really drive growth that will benefit the entire community.”

The university expects its College of Engineering and Computer Science enrollment to double. Ritter said there’s already palpable excitement as the school recruits new staff for the center.

“When we talk to prospective department chairs, when we talk to faculty leaders and they get a sketch of the vision, they are excited,” she said. “They see the investment. We're recruiting from really top places around the country and internationally as a result of this."

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.