Skills and Talent Shortage is Now The US’s Semiconductor Industry’s Biggest Challenge; Claim Analysts

Published  January 3, 2023   0
S Staff
 US Semiconductor Industry’s Biggest Challenge

The semiconductor factories also require skilled technicians to monitor and supervise factory machines and scientists in the field of chemical and electrical engineering.

Back in September 2022, the US based globe’s largest chip-maker Intel has announced to invest a whooping $20 billion to manufacture semiconductor chips in its two factories, whereas in October, Micron Technology commenced its new manufacturing unit near Syracuse, N.Y. where the company was speculated to invest $20 billion or eventually five times more than that. The same year in December, Taiwan based TSMC equipped with the world’s largest foundry proclaimed to invest $40 billion for the construction of a second manufacturing unit in the country to produce top-notch chipset.

Over the last eighteen months, numerous efforts have been undertaken by several companies to increase production of cutting-edge chips in the country and as per the experts, this strategy is closely associated with the cold-war era investments During the summer of 2020 after the coronavirus pandemic started creating mayhem, 35 companies have invested $200 billion for the manufacturing of top-notch chipsets, as per the Semiconductor Industry Association. According to an exclusive report of The New York Times, the money will be invested in 16 states, including Texas, Arizona and New York on 23 new chip factories, the expansion of nine plants, and investments from companies supplying equipment and materials to the industry.

In a further move to expand the semiconductor industry in the country, the Biden administration has also unleashed the $53 billion  US CHIPS and Science Act. All these investments are now considered to be the largest in manufacturing ever since World War II. Today, the majority of the world's top-notch chips are produced in Taiwan, which China is trying to capture the territory relentlessly. Due to this reason, fears have surfaced that the supply chain of semiconductors could be disrupted during the conflict, and the US will then be deprived of the technological benefits. According to the experts, the country’s new strategy to ramp up production might counter the problems, but that is upto a certain point.

This is because it will take several years for the chip-makers to build its new manufacturing units and by the time they are constructed they will not be able to offer the top-notch manufacturing potential. Even during that time, the government hesitates to provide ample subsidies then the companies could also terminate the projects. Another challenge is the skill shortage that is highly expected to cut the growth. The upcoming manufacturing units require several engineers with modern tech skills and intelligence. Chris Miller, an associate professor of international history at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University told The Guardian, "The bonanza of money on U.S. chip production is “not going to try or succeed in accomplishing self-sufficiency."

As per the experts of Semiconductor Industry Association, Taiwan produces 22 percent of total chip production and more than 90 percent of the most advanced chips. On the other hand, a Boston Consulting Group study in 2020 stated that the $50 billion investment by the government is likely to increase corporate spending that would escalate US's share of international production to 14 percent by the end of 2030. The New York Times report added that a survey by a group of analysts highlighted that it will be an herculean task to fill-up all the skilled positions.

The semiconductor factories also require skilled technicians to monitor and supervise factory machines on a daily basis and scientists in the field of chemical and electrical engineering. The industry’s biggest challenge is now talent shortage.