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Semiconductor company Cree to invest $1B in upstate NY plant

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — Cree Inc., a Durham, North Carolina-based semiconductor manufacturer, will invest $1 billion in a new factory in upstate New York, company and state officials announced Monday. When completed in 2022, the nearly 500,000-square-foot facility in Marcy, near Utica, will be the world's largest silicon carbide fabrication facility. State officials say the factory is expected to employ 600 workers within eight years. The workers will make an average salary of $75,000.

The state will chip in $500,000 in incentives. Gov. Andrew Cuomo called Cree's decision to invest in New York an economic "game changer" and a big victory for the state's efforts to lure high-tech investment upstate.

"This partnership is vital to strengthening the research and scientific assets that New York state needs today to attract the high-tech industries and jobs of tomorrow," Cuomo said. Cree focuses on silicon carbide wafers, a type of semiconductor that can operate at high temperatures. They're especially sought for use in electric vehicles and telecommunications.

"Silicon carbide is one of the most pivotal technologies of our time, and is at the heart of enabling innovation across a wide range of today's most groundbreaking and revolutionary markets, including the transition from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles and the rollout of ultra-fast 5G networks," Gregg Lowe, Cree's CEO, said in a statement.

Monday's economic development announcement comes nearly three years after Austria-based computer chip maker ams AG backed out of plans to build a $2 billion factory in Marcy.

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