Polar Semiconductor to receive $195M in funding to expand Bloomington facility

Polar Semiconductor plans to expand its manufacturing facility in Bloomington, a project that will create more than 160 jobs and cost an estimated $525 million. 

This comes three years after companies faced unprecedented global demand, and then shortages, of computer chips and semiconductors during the pandemic.

As part of the funding, Gov. Tim Walz announced on Monday that the state is investing $75 million from the Minnesota Forward Fund. Additionally, Polar could receive up to $120 million in federal funding under the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act, which was signed by President Joe Biden in 2022 with the hopes of growing semiconductor manufacturing, workforce, and research and development in the United States. 

With this funding, Polar aims to expand its manufacturing facility and double its production capacity of sensor and power chips within two years. 

"Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, with this announcement we are making taxpayer dollars go as far as possible to create jobs, secure our supply chains, and bolster manufacturing in Minnesota," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in a statement. "This proposed investment in Polar will crowd in private capital, which will help make Polar a U.S.-based, independent foundry. They will be able to expand their customer base and create a stable domestic supply of critical chips, made in America’s heartland." 

Polar produces semiconductors that are used in automotive, commercial and industrial applications. Government officials hope the investment will help create a stable domestic supply of semiconductors and secure domestic chip supply for national defense purposes, according to a press release. 

"If we want our country to continue leading the global economy, we must stay on the cutting edge of manufacturing. This landmark investment in Polar Semiconductor’s Bloomington facility will be a game changer for domestic semiconductor manufacturing," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar in a statement. "I’m proud to have worked with Polar Semiconductor to secure the resources needed to ensure Minnesota continues to be a leader in advanced manufacturing for decades to come." 

Currently, the company produces around 20,000 wafer semiconductors every month and employs about 540 people at its 310,000-square-foot facility, according to a press release from Gov. Walz. 

Officials will hold a press conference on Monday at 10 a.m. regarding the funding, which you can watch in the player above.