The Friday Report Blog: February 24th, 2023

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Texas Instruments to Build Semiconductor Plant in Utah

Semiconductor manufacturer Texas Instruments has announced an $11 billion investment to expand semiconductor wafer fabrication operations in Lehi, Utah. The new plant will be adjacent to their existing facility in Lehi, with construction set to begin in the 3rd or 4th quarter of this year. Semiconductor production at the new plant is expected to begin in 2026.

Texas Instruments acquired the existing plant from Micron in October 2021. Once the new facility is completed, the two plants will operate as a single fabrication facility. According to Texas Instruments, the plant will produce millions of analog and embedded microchips for companies around the world. The project is expected to directly create 800 jobs with Texas Instruments as well as thousands of indirect jobs.

In addition to the Lehi facility, Texas Instruments has broken ground on a $30 billion semiconductor manufacturing facility in Sherman, Texas. Production at the plant is projected to start in 2025. This is the largest private sector investment in Texas history.

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UPS to Expand RFID Initiative

United Parcel Service (UPS) has announced that it will expand its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) initiative. There are currently one hundred UPS facilities participating in the initiative, and the company expects to expand the program to all its warehousing facilities by the end of the year. The smart package program involves placing RFID tags on packages and wearable devices that employees wear to eliminate manual scans, reduce misloads, as well as accelerate parcel throughput.

UPS plans to invest $140 million into the RFID program to implement the technology at its remaining 940 U.S. warehouses. The company says that the expansion of its smart package initiative will help it reduce costs as well as improve the customer experience by lowering the rate of misplaced packages. UPS currently experiences a one in 400 rate of misloads. The company expects the expansion of its RFID technology to improve its frequency of misloads to one in 800. The use of RFID tags and wearable devices is also expected to eliminate 20 million manual scans per day.

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General Motors Signs Agreement with GlobalFoundries

Automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM) has signed an exclusive supplier agreement with semiconductor maker GlobalFoundries to reduce the number of microchips needed to power GM’s electric vehicles. Per the agreement, GlobalFoundries will produce higher quality

microchips in greater quantity for GM. GlobalFoundries will manufacture the semiconductors at its production facility in Malta, New York.

This is the latest agreement for GM as it looks to secure enough microchip supply to produce 1 million electric vehicles by 2025. Last summer, GM signed three supplier deals to secure needed components for electric vehicle battery production. These components include lithium, nickel, cobalt, and cathode active material. The automobile maker also recently announced plans to invest $650 million in a Nevada lithium mine.

GlobalFoundries has also invested in its semiconductor manufacturing capacity. In August of last year, the company announced a $4.2 billion partnership investment with Qualcomm Technologies to expand its chip manufacturing operations.

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