AIM (Apple, IBM, Motorola) alliance member, IBM has announced it is to build a chip plant in New York as part of a $5 billion investment to expand global-manufacturing capacity.

The new semiconductor plant will be in New York’s East Fishkill district. It will be equipped to produce products “from the cutting edge of IBM’s technology roster”, such as copper interconnect and silicon-on-insulator technologies. The company expects the plant will be the first to mass produce semiconductors at line widths below .10 microns - 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. The $2.5 billion facility will be on-line by the second half of 2002.

Global IBM will also expand its chip-making facilities in its existing plants worldwide. Lou Gerstner, IBM’s chairman and CEO, said: “The word of e-business is driving a massive build-up of the infrastructure of computing and communications. This drives demand for critical technical components, such as chips. Demand is white-hot in three critical segments: chips for servers, chips for Internet access devices and microprocessors in the networking equipment that links everything together.”

AIM alliance partner, Motorola, announced significant third-quarter results today.

Meanwhile, Apple continues to fall victim to the prevailing mood of doom on Wall Street, its shares closed yesterday at $20.875, following news of the imminent retirement of Mitch Mandich, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide sales.