By George Leopold and Junko Yoshida, EETimes (August 12, 2020)
The U.S. economy is tanking, America is recording more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths daily, millions file for unemployment benefits each week. Amid the crises, chips are taking center stage in what looks like a new, pandemic-driven industrial policy .
Manufacturing advanced and secure circuits domestically is no longer just a talking point. Momentum is building, observers note.
The Creating Helpful Incentives for Producing Semiconductors in America Act is wending its way through the congressional budget process. Politicians, bureaucrats and semiconductor companies – including Intel – increasingly back efforts to beef up chip production on US soil.
With “real money” likely available by the fall, the domestic chip industry industry is scurrying for a piece of the action.
A key question remains: Whether the bill offers substantive funds, or is just “another paper tiger”? says Dan Hutcheson, CEO of VLSI Research. More important, will the U.S. government stick to this new industrial policy for the long term?
With Congress in its August recess, EE Times offers the primer – who, what and how of the CHIPS Act. We also examine why both the US government and semiconductor industry are in the midst of a 180-degree reversal of the globalization drumbeat they have followed for decades.
We spoke with James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and VLSI Research’s CEO Hutcheson.
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