It's no secret the semiconductor industry is under pressure. Countless manufacturers are having trouble meeting the increased demands of the market at the moment. In a bid to rectify this, or at least get on the right path, the SIA (Semiconductor Industry Association) has constructed a compelling letter to newly inaugurated US President Biden, urging his hand on the matter.
The letter has been signed not only by Lisa Su of AMD, and Bob Swan Intel's current (soon to exit) CEO, but also executives and CEOs across Western Digital, IBM, Nvidia, Broadcom, and Qualcomm, among others.
According to CRN, in representing those listed above the SIA are requesting funding, through investments and initiatives, to help bolster the semiconductor manufacturing and research industry. This kind of funding was already given the okay as part of a defence bill passed in January 2021, outlined in the CHIPS for America Act. Apparently it needs a little push, however.
Over the past 31 years, the US share of global semiconductor manufacturing has seen a drop from 31 percent down to just 12 percent, with overseas incentives picking up some of the slack. In order to press the appeal, executives note that “semiconductors are critical to the U.S. economy.” Without this funding, they believe Biden’s economic recovery and infrastructure goals remain unreachable.
There's a real sense of urgency in the letter, with the execs calling for Biden to strengthen his plans with "substantial funding for incentives for semiconductor manufacturing, in the form of grants and/or tax credits, and for basic and applied semiconductor research."
With so much of its strength currently coming form foreign governments and incentives, the US industry remains "uncompetitive in attracting investments in new fab construction," the letter explains. It notes "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." The letter also expresses concerns over "national security and supply chain resilience," should the concerns be ignored.
Hopefully things will move along quickly then—the letter's highlighting some potentially disturbing outcomes for the US should this one get pushed onto the backburner.