The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today released the following statement from President and CEO John Neuffer calling for House passage of several bills approved by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the Future Act (H.R. 4609). The bill seeks to maintain and build on U.S. science and technology leadership by increasing authorized funding levels for research at NIST, as well as by expanding NIST’s role in telecommunications and quantum research. The bill, co-sponsored by House Science Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), was approved by the committee on Tuesday, July 27. SIA represents 98% of the U.S. semiconductor industry by revenue and nearly two-thirds of non-U.S. chip firms.
“The bipartisan NIST for the Future Act will help sharpen America’s edge in research and innovation. The U.S. semiconductor industry relies on foundational research at NIST and other federal research agencies to help create the technologies of the future. We thank the bill’s sponsors for their bipartisanship and leadership in promoting American innovation, and we call on all House members to approve this important legislation. As the legislation advances, we urge Congress to include $52 billion to fund the critical semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing initiatives in the CHIPS for America Act. Investing in domestic chip technology and innovation will help reinforce America’s economy, national security, and global competitiveness.”
On June 8, in a strong bipartisan vote, the Senate passed legislation called the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) (S.1260) that includes $52 billion to fund the semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research provisions in the CHIPS for America Act. SIA has urged Congress to send to the president legislation to promote U.S. technology and economic leadership.
The semiconductor industry is highly research-intensive. U.S. semiconductor companies invest nearly one-fifth of revenue into research and development, among the highest of any industry sector. But federal investment in semiconductor research has been flat as a share of GDP, while other governments have invested substantially in research initiatives to strengthen their own semiconductor capabilities. Increased investments in research, including semiconductor research, is vital to maintaining our country’s technological edge.
In addition, the share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the U.S. has decreased from 37% in 1990 to 12% today, according to a report by SIA and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). This decline is largely due to substantial subsidies offered by the governments of our global competitors, placing the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage in attracting new construction of semiconductor manufacturing facilities, or “fabs.”