Schumer continues push for Syracuse-area computer chipmaker
All but a done-deal - just not quite, was the message from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) as he tries to build hype over the possibility of a high-tech chip manufacturer landing in central New York.
APIC Corp. of California proposes it will create 200 jobs, building the chips, at a site just north of Syracuse.
But the region landing its first nanotechnology firm hinges on APIC first securing a contract with the Defense Department.Schumer delivered his message outside of Building 3 at Electronics Park in Salina along with APIC CEO Dr. Raj Dutt and local officials Monday morning. The gist of it: he wants central New York to be the next stop for the burgeoning nanotechnology sector in New York.
"The nanotech industry has already taken off and gained speed in the Capital Region, creating thousands of job," Schumer says. "The industry is growing so fast it's like a runaway freight train and we're here to say we want that train to stop in Syracuse."
At one point the senator held up a bag of Terrell's Potato Chips, which are made in Syracuse, alongside a prototype of the chips APIC would make.
"Get the difference?" Schumer asked as he held up the props. "You can't eat these chips like Terrell's, but they'll feed our economy for decades."
APIC is developing a chip called NEW-HIP, or Network Enabled by Wavelength Division Multiplexed Highly Integrated Photonics, for the Navy. Long name, amazing results, says APIC's Dr. Dutt.
"The amount of power and energy they generate is just absolutely amazing," Dr. Dutt says.
The chips use photons to increase performance while reducing energy use. They would also allow parts in machines like fighter jets to be much smaller.
"That saves a huge amount of weight and this is a need. There's a desperate need to save money," says Dr. Dutt.
The chip fabrication plant is proposed for Electronics Park, formerly home to a General Electric research facility until 1996. Building 3 boasts of being home to almost 600 patents.
The grounds are now owned by regional economic development agency CenterState CEO. The largest tenant is Lockheed Martin.
Building 3 is the last to be renovated, according to CenterState Spokesman Kevin Schwab. It needs a lot of work before housing a chip fabricator. There are broken windows, missing ceiling tiles and much of the paint is peeling off.
Schumer was scheduled to tour Building 3 with the media, but that part of the visit was canceled when an aide pointed out the building has a major mold problem.
Renovations are set to be complete by the end of the year and APIC would be able to move in in early 2013, officials say. The renovations will continue even if the APIC deal falls through, according to Schwab.