Texas Aims to Boost Semiconductor Production

A 200mm silicon semiconductor wafer.
A 200mm silicon semiconductor wafer. | Image by Nathan Laine/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas is intensifying its efforts to boost its semiconductor industry in response to the escalating significance of microchips in national security.

With a new emphasis on bolstering domestic production, the state has embarked on a mission to evade potential security crises stemming from chip shortages, reported Fox 4 KDFW.

Highlighting Texas’ commitment to this cause is the monumental billion-dollar spending to expand the semiconductor sector. Gov. Greg Abbott, speaking at a recent news conference held at UT Dallas, underscored the gravity of the initiative, highlighting the state’s $1.4 billion expenditure on the semiconductor industry.

As part of the Texas CHIPS Act,  the state is actively seeking new investments, securing federal grants, and aiming to create thousands of high-paying jobs, according to Abbott.

UT Dallas has emerged as a critical player, unveiling a cutting-edge research center dedicated to expanding the boundaries of semiconductor technology.

However, while Texas is making strides in this regard, the global landscape shows the urgency of the semiconductor race. The semiconductor shortage, impacted by disruptions in global supply chains, has exposed security vulnerabilities associated with over-dependence on chip imports.

According to the nonprofit Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 12% of global semiconductor chips originate from the United States, a significant decline from the 37% in 1990. This heavy reliance on imported chips poses substantial national security and economic vulnerabilities for the United States.

Texas Instruments’ establishment of a semiconductor wafer fabrication plant in Sherman showcases a significant leap forward in production. The new Sherman plant could create up to 3,000 new jobs, as reported by The Dallas Express.

However, delayed plans of chip manufacturing facilities in other parts of the United States, notably Arizona, underscore the complex problems associated with this new manufacturing venture. TSMC, the world’s largest chip manufacturer, has reported difficulty in finding the skilled workforce needed currently for its Arizona plant, according to CNN.

As the newly formed Texas Semiconductor Innovation Consortium prepares to chart the course ahead, the appointment of an executive director assumes paramount importance, reported Fox 4.

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