Semiconductors are the brains of modern electronics, enabling technologies critical to U.S. economic growth, national security, and global competitiveness.
Semiconductors have driven advances in communications, computing, health care, military systems, transportation, clean energy, and countless other applications. And they are giving rise to new technologies that hold the promise to transform society for the better, including brain-inspired computing, virtual reality, the Internet of Things, energy-efficient sensing, automated devices, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Semiconductors’ greatest potential lies ahead.
Semiconductors were invented in America, and the United States still leads the world in leading-edge manufacturing, design, and research. The U.S. semiconductor industry is the worldwide industry leader with about half of global market share through sales of $209 billion in 2018.
More than 80 percent of U.S. semiconductor companies’ sales are to overseas customers. The United States exported $44 billion in semiconductors in 2017 and maintains a consistent trade surplus in semiconductors.
The rapid pace of innovation has enabled the semiconductor industry to produce exponentially more advanced products at lower cost, a principle known as Moore’s Law. As a result, a single smartphone today has far more computing power than the computers used by NASA to land a person on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.