Micron Invests $3B in New High-Speed Memory Chip Factory in Virginia

Today’s topics include Micron selecting Manassas, Va., for the site of its new high-speed memory chip factory, and a Linux kernel developer criticizing Intel for its reaction to the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.

Micron Technology on Aug. 29 broke ground on a new manufacturing facility near Washington D.C., in Manassas, Va., which has a population of 43,000.

According to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, the $3 billion investment is the largest ever in Virginia by a private company. Micron already has a large 1,200-employee manufacturing facility there, which makes primarily NAND memory chips used in computers and storage devices such as solid-state drives.

The new facility, set to begin operations in the second half of 2019, will leverage future demand for smart devices in the automotive industry, in autonomous systems and in other applications that require the latest high-speed memory chips. The facility will include clean-room manufacturing and a global R&D facility, and will employ about 1,100 workers.

At the Open Source Summit North America in Vancouver last week, leading Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman criticized Intel’s response to the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities. He said the first issues were discovered “in July of 2017, but it wasn't until Oct. 25 of last year that [those] in the kernel community heard rumors of the flaw.”

Kroah-Hartman said that when Intel finally decided to tell Linux developers, the disclosure was siloed. As a result, the different Linux vendors who typically work together on fixes ended up working on their own, and each came up with different solutions.

To Intel's credit, Kroah-Hartman said the company fixed its disclosure process for future Meltdown- and Spectre-related vulnerabilities, and that for the Foreshadow vulnerability disclosed Aug, 14, Linux kernel developers were properly notified ahead of time so that fixes could be made in a collaborative way.