Micron to open memory design center in Atlanta

Move comes as world continues to feel pain from ongoing chip shortage

As the world continues to feel the pain from an ongoing semiconductor chip shortage, Micron has announced it will open a state-of-the-art memory design center in Atlanta as it looks to expand its reach into the southeastern United States.

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The 93,000-square-foot facility, which will open for business in January 2022, will include offices, a data center and research and development operations. The move is expected to create up to 500 jobs across various STEM disciplines, including memory and storage research and development, computer hardware, electrical and electronic engineering, modeling and simulation development and business support roles. 

Micron plans to build partnerships with local institutions, including Emory University, Georgia Tech, Morehouse College, Spelman College and University of Georgia

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The chipmaker, which is headquartered in Boise, Idaho, currently has U.S. offices in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Texas and Virginia and a global manufacturing and research and development network that spans 17 countries. 

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Micron has previously announced it will invest $150 billion globally over the next decade in memory manufacturing, research and development. Approximately $3 billion per year will be spent on research and development globally.

"Memory and storage today is really fundamental to everything that’s transforming our lives and our businesses from cloud to smartphones to autonomous vehicles," Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrota told "The Claman Countdown" in October. "It’s already 30% of the semiconductor industry and growing fast."

Mehrota told FOX Business that the investment may include a potential U.S. fab expansion but emphasized that it would be contingent upon "economics." Micron estimates that U.S. memory manufacturing costs run 35% to 45% higher than in lower-cost markets with established semiconductor ecosystems. 

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Mehrota and other business leaders have expressed concern that the supply chain issues caused by the chip shortage could potentially stretch into 2023, though most believe the problems will begin to resolve next year. Other companies making investments to help alleviate the chip shortage include Ford and GlobalFoundries, Intel, and Samsung