U.S. governors want fed action on chip shortages

Tower Semiconductor

A slate of US governors are calling on the federal government to quickly usher in a planned $52 billion support bill for domestic semiconductor manufacturing.


As we’ve been reporting for quite a long time, the industry as a whole is under tremendous pressure, with chip scarcity resulting from a number of causes – international tariff wars, the pandemic and new tech advancements among them.


One of the problems is that trends in multiple industries have manufacturers adding more processors to everything from cars to gaming consoles.


One of the most frequently reported shortages is in the auto industry, where these tiny chips play a role in both infotainment and a range of safety features.


In an era in which a car’s engine is essentially one big computer, a microprocessor scarcity has a huge impact on the market.


The governors’ letter calls for these initiatives to “regain (U.S.) leadership” in semiconductor manufacturing.

“We urge you to take swift bipartisan action to reconcile the two bills to get to the president’s desk for signature,” signatories wrote. “Now is the time for a comprehensive solution to this national security and economic crisis.”

Specifically, proponents of new initiatives site a scarcity for “mature node semiconductors,” which are specific types of microchips made with industry-specific capabilities.


“Among the mature-node semiconductors in tight supply are CMOS image sensors, display driver ICs, flash memory controllers, microcontrollers (MCUs), power MOSFETs, and power management ICs (PMICs),” wrote Mark Lapedus at Semiconductor Engineering last year, as shortages ground on.


Now, as markets dip on the Ukraine tensions, some analysts are suggesting that there will be an additional impact on chip markets, but that it may not be extensive.


Some analysts estimate the problem will resolve in 2023, but if you have any related holdings, it’s a good idea to keep on top of how automakers and other companies are tackling this challenge.