West Lafayette will soon be home to a $1.8 billion facility that will manufacture semiconductors. U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) says that plant, as well as Purdue’s research center for microelectronics, will ultimately benefit Indiana’s farmers.
“These semiconductors are basically the brains for any piece of equipment these days that has an on-off switch,” says Young.
Semiconductors are especially important to the ag industry since they are built into the engines of modern farm equipment.
“Certainly, sophisticated equipment like combines and planters and other farm machinery use them,” says Young. “They’re also embedded in our GPS systems, so farmers cannot operate a modern farm economy without a domestic source for these computer chips. Of course, these domestic sources been interrupted amidst the global pandemic and it’s time that we make our supply chains more resilient.”
That’s why Young says he co-authored the Senate bill that eventually became the CHIPS and Science Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law in early August. It provides more than $52 billion to produce more semiconductors here in the U.S.
One of those new semiconductor manufacturing facilities is being built at Purdue University’s Discovery Park by Skywater Technologies.
“This is going to be the first of many multi-billion dollar investment decisions that will be announced in the state of Indiana,” according to Young. “This is our next generation tech economy and it’s going to be essential to our farming economy which, increasingly, is more automated, it’s dependent on access to data and sophisticated equipment – all of which require a domestic source of semiconductor.”
Young says the federal investment not only enhances our economic security, but also our national security.
“It’s an economic resiliency play. It’s an economic development opportunity. It’s also going to allow us to compete with China, because China aims to dominate this market and to supply computer chips to our nation’s military. I think we can do it better in Indiana.”
Purdue University is also home to the Birck Nanotechnology Center, which is developing new advancements in semiconductors and microelectronics.
Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s news report on Sen. Young’s role in getting more semiconductors produced here in the U.S., the Skywater semiconductor manufacturing facility that is planned for West Lafayette, and how Indiana farmers will ultimately benefit from the CHIPS and Science Act.