President Joe Biden’s executive order is Supply chain review For critical products, we are spotlighting the decades of decline in US semiconductor manufacturing capacity. Semiconductors are logic and memory chips used in computers, telephones, vehicles and appliances.What is the US share of global semiconductor manufacturing? Reduced from 37% in 1990 to just 12%According to the Semiconductor Industry Association.
It may not seem important that 88% of the semiconductor chips used in the US industry, including the automotive and defense industries, are manufactured outside the US, but it is important to the US as a world leader in electronics. There are three problems. Capacity, high global demand, limited investment.
The increasing reliance on international partners to manufacture chips designed by US chip companies reflects the diminished capacity of the United States. US semiconductor companies make up 47% of the global chip sales market, but only 12% are manufactured in the United States. Innovating chip design is needed to meet the expectations of faster and smarter electronics than ever before.
Advances in semiconductor manufacturing are based on the smallest number of transistors in a chip’s electronic components per square millimeter. State-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing technology and equipment, known as fabs, is labeled 5 nanometers, or one millionth of a millimeter. This number indicates the process, not the specific chip function. In general, the smaller the nanometer rating, the higher the number of transistors per square millimeter, Complex image with many variables.. The highest transistor density is about 100 million per square millimeter.
Samsung in Taiwan and South Korea is developing a fab of 3 nanometers, but the United States does not yet have a fab of 7 nanometers. Intel announces 7 nanometer fab Not ready for production Until late 2022 or early 2023. This leaves the United States with no way to make state-of-the-art chips.
High global demand
With the pandemic, the increasing demand for mobile phones, laptops and other home devices and the use of the Internet has put pressure on Fabs to offer more chips for these products. The global automotive industry has reduced orders for semiconductor chips used in vehicle safety, control, emissions, and driver information systems as demand for vehicles is expected to decline during the pandemic.The automobile industry has resumed production, but now Faced with a shortage of semiconductor chips..
Recently, eight governors have doubled their efforts to “encourage wafer and semiconductor companies to temporarily reallocate a modest portion of capacity expansion and / or current production to automatic grade wafer production.” I requested. This “moderate” reassignment cannot be performed elsewhere without causing a shortage. And you can’t do that quickly. For example, Taiwanese semiconductor giant TSMC reports a lead time of 6 months from order to delivery, and it is estimated that chip manufacturing can take up to 3 months.
Limited federal investment
The governments of Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and China each invest tens of billions of dollars in the semiconductor industry each year, which shows that. These investments include not only the facility itself, but also the R & D and tool development needed to move to the next generation of fabs. Such incentives in the United States remain minimal.
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TSMC plans to invest US $ 28 billion in fabs alone this year and has promised to invest $ 1 billion in fabs in Arizona. Looking at this, the Arizona TSMC Fab will begin processing 20,000 wafers per month, compared to the 1 million wafers at existing TSMC facilities in Taiwan and China.
Biden’s executive order on the supply chain is an important step in determining the investment needed to improve the outlook for the US semiconductor industry.
This article will be republished from conversation, A non-profit news site aimed at sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Carol Handworker, Purdue University..
Carroll Handworkers from Purdue University Grants and Contracts from Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Energy Institute for Important Materials, USPAE (Non-Profit Research Consortium), Intel, MacDermidAlpha, Juniper Networks, Lam Research, Foresite Technologies, ASML / Cymer Funded. , And the National Science Foundation.