October 23, 2021

CHICAGO PIXELS

SEMICONDUCTOR RESEARCH CENTER

Why so many fabs in arid areas?

Samsung is considering building a new fab is Austin, Tx. I saw some some estimates on water usage of 4-6 billion gallons/yr. Given that the area struggles periodically with drought and groundwater depletion, I found that surprising. I started looking around and found that a surprising number of fabs are in arid areas (AZ, NM, Bay Area, etc.). Obviously much of this is because of talent availability, but given the decreasing number of people in fabs, why aren’t more located in areas with cheap power, water and land (and possibly taxes)?

Data centers have definitely gone this way, although I understand they’re almost completely automated and on-site technical skills are relatively low, will fabs ever go this way?

submitted by /u/LaCabezaGrande
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