Good News for U.S. High-Tech Manufacturing


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From the President of SEMI Americas

Good News for U.S. High-Tech Manufacturing

Intel’s announcement that it will invest up to $8 billion to fund manufacturing in four existing U.S. factories (two in Arizona and two in Oregon), along with construction of a new fab in Oregon was welcome news to SEMI members and others in the U.S. supply chain. The projects will reportedly support 6,000 to 8,000 construction jobs and result in 800 to 1,000 new permanent high-tech jobs. Combined with GLOBALFOUNDRIES expansion of Fab 8 in Saratoga County, New York and Samsung’s $3.6 billion upgrade of their Austin facility, the U.S. continues to play a leading role in the global semiconductor market. Equipment spending will approach $5 billion in 2010, more than Japan and double the spending in China.

The SEMI World Fab Forecast currently is projecting that equipment spending will jump to $7.3 billion next year.

Beyond semiconductors, Philips Lumileds in San Jose and Cree in South Carolina are both expanding production in the US to meet the red-hot demand for LEDs in TVs and lighting. Earlier this year, solar leader First Solar completed an expansion of its Perrysburg, Ohio, manufacturing plant which serves as the company’s primary hub for engineering, research and development. SolarWorld has also expanded their PV capacity on the U.S. and has grown in two years to become one of Oregon's largest manufacturers, and Solyndra’s new plant in Fremont, Calif., has become the symbol of the current administration’s stimulus program and renewable energy policy.

Globalization has been a powerful and not always positive force in the industry, but these recent announcements confirm that advanced manufacturing will continue to play an important role in the U.S. In addition, the U.S. continues to be the primary specification influence on new semiconductor, solar, LED, MEMs and other fabs built around the world.

Access to brilliant minds, smart companies, the leading research institutions, and proximity to venture capital sources and end-user demand will continue to make the U.S. an attractive location for manufacturing investment.

But not without supportive public policies that encourage and welcome manufacturing.

SEMI maintains a Washington office staffed with professionals who are your voice in directing policies that impact the profitability of SEMI members doing business in the U.S. They are active on a variety issues from tax laws, investment incentives, regulatory threats, export laws, and other issues. The U.S. legislative process is complex and often cumbersome, but one that we can influence with good input, good data and good support from SEMI members.

If you want to know more, or you would like to get involved, contact Jamie Girard (jgirard@semi.org) or Maggie Hershey (mhershey@semi.org) in our Washington office. As always, I am interested in your questions or comments at ksavala@semi.org.

Karen Savala

November 2, 2010