Journal Article

Semiconductor Industrial Policy and the Fifth District

Abstract: Chatham County, N.C., is a long way from Silicon Valley. Around 76,000 residents live here among the rolling hills of the Piedmont region, nestled between the Atlantic Plain and the Appalachian Mountains. Farming and mining have been the primary industries for generations. The county is about 2,700 miles away from Silicon Valley, the Bay Area region widely acknowledged as the world's semiconductor innovation hub for over half a century. But despite these differences in geography and reputation, in September 2022, Wolfspeed, a firm originally founded in North Carolina in 1987 as a developer and maker of LEDs, announced that Chatham County would be the home of a new $5 billion semiconductor materials facility — the largest in the world and one that would bring 1,800 high-tech jobs by the end of the decade on top of the 3,000 the company already has at its existing facility in Durham, about 50 miles away.

Keywords: Semiconductor industry; 5th district; CHIPS and Science Act;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Part of Series: Econ Focus

Publication Date: 2023

Volume: 23

Issue: 3Q

Pages: 4-7