Many LED drivers, luminaire controllers, and lighting control systems rely on computer chips. The COVID-19 pandemic created major disruptions to the global computer chip supply, affecting everything from cars to computers to all types of consumer electronic products.
THE CHIPS AND SCIENCE ACT OF 2022
Last week, the U.S. House and Senate each passed the CHIPS and Science Act, which provides $52 Billion to boost domestic production of computer chips, but also contains worker training funds and prevailing wage requirements for employers in the semiconductor industry. At the time of writing this article (7/31), the bill was on President Joe Biden’s desk, awaiting his expected signature. The law will direct $40 Billion to increase manufacturing, and $12 Billion for R&D. Today, only 12% of high-end semiconductor manufacturing is done in the U.S. The CHIPS and Science Act is expected to significantly increase that percentage.
In January of this year, Intel announced plans for a new $20 Billion computer chip manufacrturing hub near Columbus, OH. The company expects it to grow to become one of the largest semiconductor manufacturing sites in the world. Back in June, Intel’s CEO warned that the new plant was in jeopardy if the Congress didn’t pass the CHIPS and Science Act. That issue is resolved with the Senate and House passage of the bill, last week.
In November 2021, Samsung announced its plan to build a $17 Billion computer chip factory, outside Austin, TX. To reinforce the deal, President Biden visited a Samsung plant in South Korea, during his recent visit, in May, 2022.
The three actions above represent $89 Billion of new investment in the US semiconductor production industry. This will boost the US economy and reduce computer chip costs, impacting countless industries, including automotive, computers, consumer electronics, IoT, and lighting.