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Born in the USA: Computer Hardware Made in America

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Computer parts and technology hardware predominantly come from Southeast Asia—places like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan known for heavy industry and large scale mass production. Believe it or not, there are computers and even hardware components manufactured right here in the USA.

This goes beyond the thousands of enthusiasts building computers in the United States, and the niche industry of boutique PC builders assembling high-end custom workstations. You might be surprised to learn that some major PC suppliers are putting together computers on US soil.

Apple assembles its Mac Pro desktop line at a manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas. This line of Intel Xeon-based workstation and server computers are geared toward content creators, which Apple produces in comparatively small runs. When Apple CEO Tim Cook visited the manufacturing plant shortly after it opened, he took a photograph inadvertently showing the engineers using Windows computers to conduct the manufacturing process.

Lenovo also assembles ThinkPad and ThinkCentre computers at a Whitsett, North Carolina manufacturing plant. The Chinese company opened this facility in 2012 for faster shipping to its US consumer base.

Opening these computers, however, will reveal components shipped in from all over the world.

Are there any computer components made in America?

Yes, there are—but not every part of these components is made in America. Finished components like DRAM and SSDs use domestically-produced NAND wafers, but may use circuit boards, controllers, and other parts imported from around the globe.

Intel manufactures microprocessor wafers in several U.S. fabrication plants. Its Chandler, Arizona facility makes 14 nm and 32 nm microprocessors, and plants in Hudson, Massachusetts and Rio Rancho, New Mexico make 22 nm and 32 nm microprocessors respectively. A Hillsboro, Oregon plant makes development wafers.

Micron has manufacturing facilities outside of Salt Lake City, Utah and Boise, Idaho. It shares the Utah location with IM Flash technologies, which makes flash chips for their solid-state drives. These chips end up in DRAM and SSDs produced under the Crucial brand.

Mushkin boasts a USA-made status on its packaging, and has a manufacturing facility outside of Austin.  The company commonly sources NAND wafers; for example, the Striker SSD uses Micron 16 nm MLC NAND. Samsung also manufactures a variety NAND Flash memory chips in Austin, the location of its only facility located outside of Korea. This location is reportedly building Apple’s new A9 chip.

Patriot Memory builds DRAM and thumb drives in its Fremont, California plant. It also has manufacturing facilities in Taiwan.

Beyond these semiconductors, however, there really is not much in the way of computer hardware manufactured in the United States.

Are there others that I have missed? Let me know in comments about other computer hardware companies with manufacturing operations in the U.S.  

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Born in the USA: Computer Hardware Made in America
Article Name
Born in the USA: Computer Hardware Made in America
Description
Are there any computers and hardware components made in America? A rundown of tech companies with US-based manufacturing.
Author
Adam Lovinus

Adam Lovinus

A tech writer and Raspberry Pi enthusiast from Orange County, California.

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