What just happened? The ongoing semiconductor shortage has prompted a bevy of companies that make and use chips to form a new lobbying group tasked with pressing the government for federal funding that would be used to advance chip research and manufacturing in the US.
The Semiconductors in America Coalition (SIAC) is a cross-sector alliance of companies that are putting their differences aside for the greater good. Members include Apple, Cisco, Dell, Google, Microsoft, AMD, Intel, IBM, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Samsung, just to name a few.
The extensive list of members can be found over on SIAC’s website, but in short, virtually every major tech company has signed on.
On its website, the coalition said it urges Congress and President Biden to provide $50 billion for the bipartisan CHIPS for America Act. A press release on the matter dated May 11, 2021, reads in part:
“The current shortage of semiconductors is impacting a broad range of industries throughout the economy. To address this problem in the short term, government should refrain from intervening as industry works to correct the current supply-demand imbalance causing the shortage. But for the longer term, robust funding of the CHIPS Act would help America build the additional capacity necessary to have more resilient supply chains to ensure critical technologies will be there when we need them.”
SIAC further notes that the share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the US has fallen from 37 percent in 1990 to just 12 percent today, largely due to substantial subsidies offered by other countries. Federal investment in semiconductor research has also fallen flat as a share of GDP, the coalition said, while other governments are investing heavily to strengthen their own semiconductor capabilities.