US semiconductor industry supply chain needs help, better policies

THE US needs to build a stronger and more resilient semiconductor supply chain, that can be facilitated by policies that can help the supply chain companies in the country grow further and innovate, said a US-based industry association.

As it serves the global electronics design and manufacturing supply chain, SEMI filed comments to the US Department of Commerce in response to its request for public comments regarding risks in the semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging supply chain.

The comments that SEMI submitted provide a summary of the processes, goods and technologies needed for semiconductor production and a host of policy recommendations to strengthen the US semiconductor supply chain and resiliency of the industry.

The semiconductor technology and applications has been critical to sustaining America’s physical infrastructure, national defense capabilities, and telecommunications and transportation systems.

Its supply chain is highly integrated and globalised. With little excess capacity available to absorb disruptions and increasing demand, supply disruptions can have broad and cascading effects throughout countless industries.

SEMI also highlighted that any supply constraints, whether they be in devices, equipment, or materials, can impact the entire supply chain and lead to semiconductor shortages, which can result in line-down situations at electronics factories downstream, and have a ripple effect in the country’s digital economy.

Among some of SEMI’s recommendations in the comments include:

  • Strong federal manufacturing and research and development incentives for the entire semiconductor supply chain
  • Competitive corporate tax policies
  • Trade policies that open markets and eliminate barriers to trade
  • Harmonised and pragmatic environment, health, and safety regulations
  • Strong workforce development and immigration policies for high-skilled workers
  • Narrowly tailored and multilateral export control policies

“Our comments show that just as countless industries depend on semiconductors, semiconductor fabs depend on a complex, global supply chain providing the essential building blocks for semiconductor device manufacturing, from silicon through final test,” said SEMI president and CEO Ajit Manocha.

“Incentives to strengthen the industry must be available to all links within the semiconductor supply chain to minimise potential bottlenecks upstream of chip fabs that could impede the growth of the industry in the US.” – April 7, 2021

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