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The US Can Shape the Future of Semiconductors if Congress Thinks Ahead

By Massachusetts Institute of Technology President L. Rafael Reif:

Spurred by strained supply chains, growing concerns about China, and the landmark CHIPS and Science Act Congress enacted last summer, U.S. semiconductor manufacturing seems poised for a renaissance. 

News of chip manufacturing facilities slated for Ohioupstate New York and most recently Arizona should buoy all Americans for their promise of good new jobs and because these factories will make us less dependent on others for the chips that are the building blocks of most modern products, from phones to automobiles.

Important as they are, however, these new factories will mainly serve to increase access to current chips, including those manufactured with state-of-the-art technologies. While that’s vital, it’s a short-term solution. To secure national leadership and prosperity over time, the U.S. needs to be the birthplace of the new ideas that will determine the future — including the future of semiconductor technology, design, and manufacturing. Guaranteeing that future requires swift federal action. 

The semiconductor industry does not stand still; there is a perpetual race to advance chip capability. When it comes to chip fabrication, U.S. companies need to regain their lead. In chip-making equipment, the U.S. needs to retain its premier position. In design, the U.S. still leads but faces intensifying competition from China and elsewhere.

Read the rest of the article in The Hill.