In Focus: The CHIPS Act – A Historic Investment in Our Future

By helping to provide a critical domestic supply chain, the CHIPS Act represents a new era of American industrial competitiveness.

Since this summer’s passage of federal legislation aimed at boosting domestic semiconductor manufacturing, several chipmakers have announced plans to build new fabrication facilities in the United States. Fortunately for the country, the CHIPS and Science Act won’t just be a game-changer for the semiconductor industry.

Encouraging the manufacturing of microchips at home means providing critical domestic supply chain support for businesses dependent on these critical electronic components. In our increasingly digital lives, there are fewer and fewer customer and industrial products that aren’t impacted by semiconductor chip availability. Chips are a key component of emerging technologies, including 5G wireless devices, artificial intelligence software, electric and autonomous vehicles, and cryptocurrencies — in short reaching every single business sector.

The global chip shortage has hurt the production of cars and other essential American products. Increasing the access and availability of semiconductors is crucial for our national and economic security as we compete for technological leadership on a global playing field, ensuring that Michigan-based companies like Whirlpool, GM, and Ford are able to respond in real time to customer demand.

Fostering Innovation
Creating a more robust American semiconductor industry will also foster a vibrant innovation ecosystem that creates new opportunities. It’s easy to forget that Americans invented the transistor, a tiny semiconductor device that allowed for the precise control of the amount and flow of current through circuit boards. The birth of the semiconductor industry was the force behind the computer revolution. The next great digital invention is being built in an American garage as we speak.

In Michigan, we celebrate the CHIPS Act! Michigan helped lead the bipartisan charge for the bill’s passage because we know the stable supply of chips is vital to building a championship economy in our state and nationwide. The average passenger vehicle may have 1,200 different chips that serve as the brains of a variety of automotive systems, from cruise control and entertainment to lane-departure warnings and other modern safety features. The transition to EVs and other propulsion systems will only increase the demand for chips, thus underscoring the necessity of a domestic chip supply chain.

Federal economic policies like the CHIPS Act validate all the work we’re doing in Michigan to support industrial sectors critical to our economic growth and future.

Michigan is home to several companies driving a growing semiconductor supply chain ecosystem domestically and advanced research in semiconductor device and circuit fabrication at the University of Michigan among other Michigan universities. In 2018, KLA, a high-tech, Fortune 500 company specializing in systems and software integral to chip and electronics manufacturing, chose Michigan for the location of second headquarters facility, creating 600 jobs in Ann Arbor.

SK Siltron CSS has invested $300 million in a new semiconductor wafer manufacturing and R&D facility near Bay City. SK Siltron CSS will expand the production of much-needed silicon carbide wafers, considered the future of the industry because of their ability to efficiently transfer energy. Hemlock Semiconductor Operations, the largest producer of polysilicon in the United States, recently announced plans to invest $375 million to modernize and expand operations in the state. And in the Upper Peninsula, Calumet Electronics on Michigan’s scenic Keweenaw Peninsula is positioned to be one of the few domestic IC (integrated circuit) substrate suppliers in the U.S.

The CHIPS Act represents a new era of American industrial competitiveness. Building upon Michigan’s innovative tradition and unsurpassed advanced manufacturing heritage and cognizant of the hard work ahead, we are moving with confidence to create a better future to ensure we take full advantage of economic opportunity afforded by the CHIPS Act.