UK Government Forms Panel To Support Crucial Semiconductor Industry

The semiconductor industry of UK, which the government describes as “vitally important for the modern world we live in,” will now be governed by a new panel.

UK Government Forms Panel To Support Crucial Semiconductor Industry

The semiconductor industry of UK, which the government describes as “vitally important for the modern world we live in,” will now be governed by a new panel.

Governments all over the world have acted, enacting new legislation and investing sizable sums of money to boost the industry in their own nations.

Microchips and integrated circuits, both of which are terms for semiconductors, are essential parts of contemporary manufacturing. They are created from tiny pieces of raw materials, such as silicon, that have been doped to conduct electricity or not. These binary-speaking 1s and 0s electronic switches are crucial for computer processing.

Modern microchips power sophisticated electronic systems that run our daily lives. They have as many transistors as the stones of the Great Pyramid. These tiny, potent semiconductors are at the core of a $500 billion market that is anticipated to double by 2030. With the help of gadgets like smartphones and laptops, they serve as the cornerstone of contemporary computing.

Global connectivity is made possible by semiconductors, which are crucial components of internet routers, switches, and communication networks. Additionally, they support sustainability in solar and wind farms, medical devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps, and implantable technology.

All contemporary societies depend on semiconductors for their essential infrastructures, according to Jo Shien Ng, professor of semiconductor devices at Sheffield University.

Modern vehicles with electronic control systems, remote car keys to unlock the car, anti-lock braking systems, and rear-view cameras are just one example among many.

Currently, Taiwan is a major supplier of semiconductors to the US, the UK, Europe, and China.

Due to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which supplies more than half of the world’s supply, including for AMD, Apple, ARM, Broadcom, Marvell, MediaTek, and Nvidia, Taiwan is the most significant location for their production.

Supply chains were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, and now politics is doing the same thing. TSMC is currently affected by the alleged “chip wars” between the US and China.

Samsung in South Korea is the second-largest supplier after TSMC. With massive financial outlays to entice technology manufacturing to its shores, the US is working to change that.

At its new US plant in Arizona, TSMC announced in December 2022 that it would more than triple its anticipated investment. But it revealed in July that a lack of qualified workers had caused a delay in manufacturing.

The European Union is also participating. 43 billion euros will be spent on the European Chips Act up until 2030.

A recent agreement between Intel and the German government will see the US company establish a chip manufacturing facility in the German city of Magdeburg. Germany agreed to contribute one-third of the necessary investment. Production is anticipated to begin in four or five years.

Despite being trapped by the economic “big beasts,” the UK has announced plans to increase its own semiconductor production.

The government unveiled a national semiconductor strategy earlier this year that calls for up to £200 million in investment by 2025 and £1 billion over the following ten years. Those sums of money have been dismissed as “insignificant” by critics.

Additionally, a new steering committee made up of leading business figures and semiconductor experts was announced to direct the UK industry.

The initial cash infusion, according to Americo Lemos, CEO of IQE, a British semiconductor company founded in 1988 and a member of the panel, was “an important step forward” and a “very, very good investment,” he told the BBC.

The panel of experts, according to the government, will offer recommendations on how to strengthen the supply chain for the industry, which is experiencing rising global tensions, and to help the UK’s semiconductor sector.

Paul Scully, the minister of state for digital affairs, said: “If we’re serious about growing our domestic sector, safeguarding our national security, and unleashing rapid innovation across the British economy, then we need to properly engage and listen to the experts at the heart of researching, designing, and producing semiconductors.”