The semiconductor industry is having some issues at the moment, with a number of manufacturers struggling to keep up with the demand. However, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has recently put together a letter addressed to the current US president, urging him to take action and help increase chip manufacturing in America.
The US share of global semiconductor manufacturing has fallen from 37%, all the way down to 12% in 31 years, with many foreign bodies investing in and providing substantial funding to other chip manufacturers outside of the country such as TSMC.
According to the SIA, “semiconductors are critical to the U.S. economy” and without much more support Biden’s objective for economic recovery and infrastructure goals could struggle immensely.
The letter urges Biden to “include in your recovery and infrastructure plan substantial funding for incentives for semiconductor manufacturing, in the form of grants and/or tax credits, and for basic and applied semiconductor research,” adding that “we believe bold action is needed to address the challenges we face. The costs of inaction are high.”
The letter also claims that the US is “uncompetitive in attracting investments in new fab construction,” because of the amount of funding that goes into manufacturers outside of the US. It also notes some scary thoughts about the US losing its leadership in technology manufacturing in general, and the future of the industry in America:
“Our technology leadership is at risk in the race for pre-eminence in the technologies of the future, including artificial intelligence, 5G/6G, and quantum computing.” And according to the SIA, by increasing the US’s semiconductor output they will be fuelling new jobs, infrastructure, and ultimately, economic growth.
Doubling down on that, SIA added that such investments would increase “national security and supply chain resilience to meet future challenges.”
Signing the letter along with the SIA were AMD’s CEO Lisa Su, Intel’s current CEO Bob Swan, as well as many other CEOs and executives from Nvidia, Western Digital, IBM, Broadcom, Qualcomm, and more.
It certainly highlights some very scary outcomes that the US could be facing if these concerns are ignored. Fortunately, extra funding for the semiconductor industry was already given the all clear back in January as part of the CHIPS for America Act. However, it is clear that it is soon reaching a boiling point, and it just needs some extra help, and fast.
What do you think? Are the dangers of neglecting US chip manufacturing really that bad? Would it help the US economy a lot if this went ahead as planned? Let us know your thoughts!