Applied Materials to invest $4 bn in Silicon Valley chip research center

Applied Materials, a prominent U.S. semiconductor toolmaker, has unveiled plans to invest up to $4 billion in a research center located in Sunnyvale, California, at the heart of Silicon Valley.
Applied Materials semiconductorThe aim of this initiative is to accelerate advancements in semiconductor manufacturing. The center, known as the Equipment and Process Innovation and Commercialization (EPIC) Center, is scheduled to become operational in 2026 and is expected to generate approximately 2,000 engineering jobs.

Applied Materials, the world’s largest maker of chip manufacturing tools, anticipates that the facility will facilitate around $25 billion worth of research over its first ten years. This research hub will bring together experts from renowned universities and major chipmakers like Intel, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), and Samsung Electronics, among others.

This announcement coincides with the United States’ efforts to revitalize advanced semiconductor manufacturing, backed by a $52 billion measure passed last year. Applied Materials has expressed its intention to invest in the EPIC Center over a span of seven years and has expressed a desire for government subsidies through the CHIPS and Science Act.

Gary Dickerson, CEO of Applied Materials, stated that the company is committed to moving forward with the project, with the scale and pace of investment being influenced by government incentives. He emphasized the compelling economics of the endeavor, both in terms of expediting technology roadmaps for customers and benefiting Applied Materials itself.

Traditionally, the process of transforming ideas from research universities into tools used in manufacturing has taken several years. By co-locating universities and chip manufacturers with Applied Materials in the EPIC Center, the company aims to reduce this timeline by almost one-third, as the three groups can conduct parallel work.

The event announcing the center is expected to be attended by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, along with top executives from major chip companies, further highlighting the significance of this initiative.

Senior administration officials indicated that the Commerce Department has received over 300 statements of interest for the $39 billion manufacturing incentives portion of the CHIPS Act. Details regarding application requirements for the $11 billion allocated for research facilities are expected to be announced in early fall, according to the officials.