Headline, August 07 2022/ OPINION : ''' '' SEMICONDUCTORS SO SUPERIORITISING '' '''



MONEY ALONE WON'T BUY U.S. TECH SUPERIORITY : Semiconductors, the tiny computer chips that run everything from smartphones to satellites to missile defense systems, are often called the ''OIL'' of the 21st century.

Maintaining U.S. economic and military might depend on reliable supply. Semiconductor shortages during the pandemic brought some car assembly lines to a halt and left showrooms of home appliances barren, providing a glimpse of what would happen to the American economy if these chips ran out.

SINCE the Trump administration cut off certain chips from going to China, chips have become fodder for public debate.

Now Americans are worrying about our own chip supply, and the need for the United States to be less dependent on chips from Asia has become one of the few areas of bipartisan agreement in Washington.

THE CHIPS ACT, which would give $39 billion to subsidize the construction of semiconductor factories in the United States, plus $11 billion for research and development initiatives into chip innovation, is the centrepiece of a bill to increase U.S. competitiveness that is expected to move forward in Congress.

IS IT CORPORATE welfare for an industry that is already profitable? Of course. But places that make chips - including Taiwan, South Korea, India, Germany and China - offset the enormous capital costs with gobs of public money.

There is little doubt that, if the United States wants to compete in this game, subsidies are the price of admission.

And yet, money alone is no guarantee of success. Paying off companies won't get us very far unless we also invest in people who can make the industry thrive.

Semiconductor supremacy isn't something we can buy. It's something we must build, starting with a thoughtful, long-term strategy to create a pipeline of talent, both domestically and abroad.

''The semiconductor game is a long game : it's not about making fabs but who can innovate and cultivate talent,'' Jason Hsu, who served as a representative of the tech industry in Taiwan's legislature, told me.

Mr. Hsu, who is now a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School focused on building industry collaborations between the United States and both Taiwan and South Korea, lamented that American lawmakers seemed intent on trying to take the industry from Taiwan without fully understanding how to make it succeed.

One of the biggest obstacles to making more chips in the United States is the lack of experienced workers. Part of the problem is structural, Mr. Hsu said.

Facebook and Google pay astronomical higher salaries than the chip manufacturing industry. Even in Taiwan, Mr. Hsu told me, it has been hard to attract younger people to this work.

If the American semiconductor industry expands as expected with the passage of CHIPS Act, about 13,000 new engineers and software developers will be needed in short order, and some 3,500 positions could go unfilled, according to a report by the Center for Security and Emerging Technology.

PART of the reason for this skills gap is that people in the United States who already work in the semiconductor industry tend to have experience in chip design, not manufacturing.

For years, many U.S.companies ordered chips from contract manufacturers overseas, like the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, instead of embarking on the extremely expensive process of producing, testing and packaging ships themselves.

But as geopolitical tensions with China ramped up, American leaders began to push to build some capacity to make advanced chips in the United States as an insurance policy in the event of a breakdown of trade.

Other countries have gone even further to lure tech talent. Britain just established a special visa for graduates from top universities outside the United Kingdom that would let them work and live inside the country for two or three years without a company sponsor.

Australian officials actively promote their global talent visa program at semiconductor career expos around the world. If Americans want to really compete in this vital industry, we're going to have to step up our game.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Semiconductors and Manufacturing Markets, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Farah Stockman.

With respectful dedication to the Scientists, Leaders, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!