Beyond Borders: The Evolution and Importance of the Global Semiconductor Value Chain

Wednesday, May 04, 2016, 3:30pm

by Semiconductor Industry Association

Few industries, if any, feature a value chain as complex, geographically dispersed, and intensely interconnected as that of the semiconductor industry. This highly globalized and interdependent structure has been an amazing success story, benefitting the semiconductor industry, participating countries, and the global economy.

These benefits, as well as the risks of an insular approach to developing a semiconductor capability, will be key topics at a panel discussion hosted by SIA and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) this Friday, May 6, at 12:00 p.m. EDT (REGISTER HERE). Event participants, including SIA President & CEO John Neuffer, will also announce the findings of a new report outlining the evolution and importance of the global semiconductor value chain.


The global structure of the semiconductor value chain is explained in part by the extreme complexity and competitive nature of the industry itself. Nonstop, consumer-driven demand for more and better capabilities, features, reliability, miniaturization, and speed requires a heavy investment in research and development (R&D), design, and efficient, low-cost manufacturing, testing, assembling and packaging, and distribution. These same pressures also affect a vast array of supporting activities, such as the production of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, development of design software and other semiconductor intellectual property, and provision of raw materials. The pressures have compelled semiconductor companies to develop business models that look beyond national borders to achieve efficiencies to compete in the marketplace.

Moving forward, this trend is likely to continue and intensify as the demand for innovation becomes even greater. The industry is rapidly moving into new areas, including brain-inspired computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), energy-efficient sensing, automated devices, robotics, and artificial intelligence. A globally interdependent industry that links together the best each participant has to offer continues to be the most sensible path to the future. This interlocking ecosystem benefits the semiconductor industry by spurring growth and innovation and strengthens participating countries by increasing employment and export opportunities.

We hope you’ll consider attending Friday’s event for a deeper discussion of the global semiconductor value chain and its importance to the world economy. You can register here, and a link to a video recording of the event, as well as the “Beyond Borders” report, will be added to this page following the event.

VIDEO: Beyond Borders: How the Global Semiconductor Value Chain Spurs Innovation and Growth