Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Worried about China, the US pushes for homegrown chip development

Agam Shah | Nov. 2, 2016
The White House has established the Semiconductor Working Group to encourage semiconductor development

The Semiconductor Industry Association, which boasts major chip companies as its members, applauded the formation of the working group, saying it was long overdue.

"The chip industry spawns new industries, makes existing industries more productive, and drives advances once never imagined," said John Neuffer, president and CEO of SIA.

The U.S. is creating faster supercomputers and has efforts to develop new computing technologies through the Brain Initiative, the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, the National Nanotechnology Initiative, and Computer Science for All, which promotes technology education. Many other technologies are developed by private sector companies or academic institutions.

It's unclear how effective the advisory group will be, but it'll likely have little impact in creating new semiconductor and computing technologies, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

This task force is being established just as U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office, and it may be scrubbed by the time the new president takes over.

Moreover, little gets done in the U.S. government, and the working group won't change the way companies like Intel and IBM develop technologies or do business, McGregor said.

The U.S. government needs to invest more heavily to assert its influence and drive technological change, McGregor said. The nominal U.S. government investments in technological development come through organizations like the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

By comparison, China, South Korea, and Taiwan have centralized organizations that help consolidate IT and drive technological education, McGregor said.

The working group should instead prioritize promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education and retraining the workforce for homegrown semiconductor development, McGregor said. A lot of chip development for companies like Intel and AMD are exported to countries like India, China, and Israel.

Prominent members of the Semiconductor Working Group include Qualcomm chairman Paul Jacobs and former Intel CEO Paul Otellini.

 

Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.