PHOENIX – Computer chips may be tiny, but U.S. Senator Mark Kelly from Arizona is confident they will be an integral part of the state’s future.
Kelly is urging support for bipartisan legislation introduced by fellow Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and others that seeks to invest roughly $ 50 billion to improve semiconductor chip production and research in the country.
And Arizona is on the cusp of becoming a serious producer of these chips.
“We are on the verge of being one of the leaders not only in the country, but possibly in the world, if we can get legislation,” Kelly said. Arizona’s KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Morning News Thursday. “We intend to pass this flea law.
“It’s essential for our national security, but these are high paying jobs in the state of Arizona. “
A worldwide shortage of microchips that lasted for several months disrupted the production of televisions, toasters and even cars.
In March, Intel announced plans to invest $ 20 billion to expand its semiconductor business in Chandler. This could mean up to 3,000 jobs at the two new factories.
A month later, rival chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said it was pumping $ 3.5 billion into a second U.S. manufacturing site in north Phoenix as concerns grew over the heavy reliance of the United States on Asian sources for high-tech components.
“For us in this country, it’s an investment in our future,” Kelly said.
He added that he visited Intel’s facilities last week.
“If you haven’t seen one of these manufacturing facilities, it’s amazing the amount of process you have to go through to make one of these high-tech chips,” Kelly said.
The Senate was scheduled to begin debate on Tuesday on a $ 110 billion technology bill that includes chip funding.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said talks could last up to two weeks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.