By John Neuffer, Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) president and CEO
America is in a race with global competitors to win the technologies of the future, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and 5G and 6G wireless networks. Semiconductor innovation is the engine that drives all these promising technologies. As Congress turns to the budget, setting aside research funds to keep America the world leader in semiconductor technology is critical
To that end, SIA in a letter June 18 urged leaders in the House and Senate to triple investments in semiconductor research over the next five years to a total of $5 billion annually.
SIA’s letter echoes a core recommendation of our recent policy agenda, titled “Winning the Future: A Blueprint for Sustained U.S. Leadership in Semiconductor Technology.” That report showed U.S. government investment in research has been declining in comparison to key global competitors, most notably China. It called for tripling federal investment in semiconductor research to $5 billion annually and doubling funding for semiconductor-related fields such as materials science, engineering, and applied mathematics to $40 billion annually.
Federal investments in semiconductor research at the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology provide a significant return on investment to the American taxpayer by accelerating the development of cutting-edge technologies.
In addition to advancing the fundamental enabling technology of modern electronics, substantially increasing funding for semiconductor research will help ensure that the U.S. wins the race to develop and deploy the must-win technologies of the future, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and 5G and 6G wireless networks. These technologies will be instrumental in determining global economic leadership in the years ahead. Additionally, federal investments in semiconductor research help train the next generation of highly skilled American engineers and scientists who will conduct the research.