7/11/2014 6:04:37 PM

Times Union: Region gets a $3B vote of confidence

Times Union


Even with the expected sale of its microchip manufacturing operations to GlobalFoundries, IBM said Thursday it will spend $3 billion over the next five years on inventing the next generation of computer chips — a huge vote of confidence for the company's research operations in Albany and across the Hudson Valley.

The announcement dispels the idea that IBM will completely abandon its semiconductor operations in New York, which the state has supported with hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies from Albany to East Fishkill and Yorktown Heights, the site of the company's research operations.

IBM is expected to sell its microchip operations to GlobalFoundries as early as this week for as much as $2 billion, putting thousands of IBM jobs in upstate New York at risk.

However, IBM's new $3 billion research project, called the chip "grand challenge," ensures that IBM's operations at the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering's sites in Albany and Utica will remain vibrant economic catalysts for the time being. The idea is that the intellectual property created by this research — mainly technology patents — is worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the long run, especially if a major breakthrough occurs.

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