Semiconductor manufacturing has boomed in Arizona of late, with companies in Tucson providing the high-tech, R&D and logistics support the industry needs to thrive.
The state is ranked in the top five in semiconductor manufacturing employment, industry exports and concentration of industry employment. Lots of recent news show that Arizona’s attractiveness is top of mind.
Intel is building two new chip factories in the Phoenix area in a $20 billion investment that adds to its Chandler site, the largest semiconductor manufacturing facility in the U.S. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has a $12 billion project under construction in north Phoenix.
In Southern Arizona, Jing He Science recently bought 20 acres in Casa Grande for an industrial gas facility that will supply nearby semiconductor companies.
Leonard Electronics US Inc. will build a $100 million semiconductor laser manufacturing facility in Oro Valley. Texas Instruments completed a $29 million expansion of its Tucson facility that houses electrical engineers, electrical and electronics technicians and operational positions.
Tucson serves as the hub of Arizona Optics Valley, a collection of optics and photonics companies that service many different industries, including defense, aerospace, biotech, machine tools and data centers.
My recently updated white paper “Spotlight on Arizona’s Optics Industry” details the ecosystem that includes the Wyant College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, Arizona Technology Council and startup support. There are hundreds of optics companies in Arizona and several dozen in Tucson.
The UA also leads research in sustainability in chip manufacturing through the multi-institutional Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing. And it’s a member of the new collaborative that will develop the National Semiconductor Economic Roadmap. Led by the Arizona Commerce Authority, its aim is to advance U.S. semiconductor competitiveness by gathering the expertise of industry leaders, educational institutions and the public sector to address workforce, supply chain and infrastructure issues.
Tucson likely will play a major role in solving supply chain issues for Arizona’s semiconductor industry. It has the only inland port in the state, the multimodal Port of Tucson. The port is along the Southern Pacific railway and within easy access to Interstate 10. The port provides distribution and warehousing buildings and facilities for intra-plant switching. It’s a U.S. foreign trade zone and an Arizona enterprise zone, both providing duty or tax benefits.
Tucson also serves as the hub of the dual-national economy of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Less than 100 miles away from the border, companies in the U.S. support their Latin American and worldwide clients with manufacturing operations in Mexico while headquartering R&D, sales and administrative services in Tucson.
This is Tucson’s strength and contribution to Arizona’s semiconductor industry: providing the support services, trained workforce and research expertise that reshored semiconductor companies want in order to meet demand for their products.
Commercial Real Estate Group of Tucson has the expertise to identify qualified Tucson industrial space and Tucson office space for any size and type of semiconductor and logistics operations. Contact Michael Coretz for a complimentary consultation.
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