SIA Semiconductors

Policy Priorities


Research is the lifeblood of innovation. Funding for basic scientific research has enabled some of the most revolutionary inventions of the last 60 years, including the Internet, the Global Positioning System (GPS), the laser, and the large-scale integrated circuit. Unfortunately, U.S. investments in R&D as a share of GDP have decreased in recent decades.  Policymakers should reverse this trend by supporting funding for basic scientific research programs at federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.

Long-term fundamental science research performed at universities and funded by the industry and the federal government is critical to sustaining the pipeline of new discoveries that will fuel the semiconductor industry, our nation’s economy and new job creation in America. Today, with increasingly fierce competition for global technology leadership, it’s critical that research collaborations be maintained and strengthened, not undermined.  

The U.S. semiconductor industry is a strong partner in research investments, devoting $35 billion to R&D in 2014, the largest percentage of revenue of any industry. 

The semiconductor industry also has a longstanding tradition of partnering with government and universities to establish effective research programs. In the 1980s, the industry teamed with government to create SEMATECH, which sponsors advanced semiconductor manufacturing research and is now recognized by many as the ideal model of public-private collaboration.

The industry also helps fund cutting edge university research through the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the world's leading university research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies. SRC has launched hugely successful government-industry-university research partnerships – the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI) and the Semiconductor Technology Advanced Research network (STARnet) – that are unmatched in size and scope by programs in other industries. 

SIA's Dustin Todd currently serves as chairman of the Task Force on American Innovation (TFAI), the leading coalition of industry, academic, and scientific groups in support of increased federal funding for basic scientific research. Under Dustin's leadership, TFAI works with the Administration and Congress to support research funded by a range of federal agencies, including NSF, NIST, DARPA, and the DOE Office of Science.

The Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI), managed through the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), supports university research finding a replacement technology to allow faster, smaller, more energy efficient devices beyond the limits of today’s semiconductor technology.

Industry, Universities, & Government Partnerships

  • Semiconductor industry leaders like GLOBALFOUNDRIES, IBM, Intel, Micron, and Texas Instruments contribute millions of dollars annually to this effort. Government and university support leverages these funds for a combined total of approximately $20 million annually, supporting more than 60 universities, 330 professors, and 680 students in 23 states.
  • In addition to directly supporting the NRI centers, the National Science Foundation (NSF) accepts NRI funding for projects at the NSF Nanoscience Centers across the U.S., which not only leverages NSF’s large investments to fuel basic science and support students, but also helps promote research in relevant areas for future nanoelectronics innovation.
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which directly supports the four NRI multi-university centers and also lends its metrology expertise. Advancing nanoelectronics requires measuring structures with atomic accuracy, characterizing new materials and molecules, and even measuring the signals from individual electrons – if we can't measure it, we can't make it.
  • State governments in California, Indiana, New York, and Texas and the City of South Bend are investing in the NRI in recognition of the significant employment benefits that will follow commercialization of nanoelectronic technology. 


Continuing NRI’s Success 

Since its inception in 2005, NRI has produced more than 3,300 technical publications and 20 issued patents.  Still, this basic research is just beginning and the initial efforts are small compared to the government’s efforts in the 1940’s and 1950’s which led to the early semiconductor inventions.  Nanoelectronics research must grow significantly over the next several years.  Congress should continue to fund NSF and NIST budgets that support nanoelectronics research.

In January 2018, a new $60M+, public-private research program called nCORE will be launched. nCore seeks to enable novel computing paradigms and information processing systems with significantly improved efficiency, enhanced performance, and new functionalities. For more information, please visit the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) website.   

A consortium of U.S. headquartered companies affiliated with the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) is partnering with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to fund STARnet (Semiconductor Technology Advanced Research network), a high-risk, high-impact university research program. 

STARnet supports six multi-university research centers involving more than 160 faculty and 470 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. Over five years (2013-2017), STARnet will fund nearly $190 million in research: over $75 million from DARPA and over $113 million from the industry consortium.

Continuing STARnet’s Success

STARnet is a public-private partnership that maximizes the effectiveness and value of government and industry investment in university research in semiconductor technology.  Government and academia benefit from better understanding of industry capabilities and needs; industry is able to rapidly transition results into practical application and benefits from access to a larger pool of researchers.  Students’ research experience is enhanced by regular interaction with industry experts and graduates go on to become leaders in the field.


Congress should support the Administration’s DARPA budget request to match industry commitment to this program.  

Feb 16, 2017 TFAI Letter to OMB Director Mulvaney in support of research investments

Dec 1, 2016 SIA Letter to President-Elect Trump on Semiconductor Industry Policy Priorities

Nov 30, 2016 Tech Coalition Letter to President-Elect Trump

Oct 4, 2016 SRC Report on Intelligent Cognitive Assistants (ICA) Workshop

Sep 19, 2016 TFAI Letter to Congress in Support of Research Funding

Mar 16, 2016 Congressional Semiconductor Caucus Letter in Support of Research Investments

Jan 29, 2016 TFAI Letter to Appropriations Committee Leaders in Support of Funding for Scientific Research

Sep 1, 2015 Rebooting the IT Revolution: A Call to Action

Sep 1, 2015 Rebooting the IT Revolution: A Call to Action

Jul 16, 2015 SIA and SRC Comments on Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges for the Next Decade

Apr 21, 2015 SIA Letter to House Science Committee on America COMPETES Reauthorization

Sep 23, 2014 SIA Comments to OSTP and NEC on White House Strategy for American Innovation

May 20, 2014 Coalition Letter on Extension of Research Credit

Apr 29, 2014 SIA and Coalition Testimony to Senate Appropriations Committee in Support of Closing the Innovation Deficit

Dec 19, 2013 Letter to Congressional Appropriations Leaders in support of Budget Agreement

Dec 18, 2013 SIA Comments on National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Strategic Plan

Dec 18, 2013 Summary of SIA Comments on National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Strategic Plan

Feb 6, 2013 SIA Board Member Rich Templeton's Testimony at House Science Committee Hearing on American Competitiveness

Dec 7, 2012 Joint Letter on Importance of Federal R&D

Press Releases

Jul 8, 2016 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors Examines Next 15 Years of Chip Innovation

Dec 18, 2015 Semiconductor Industry Hails Passage of Permanent R&D Credit

Sep 1, 2015 Tech, Academic Leaders Call for Robust Research Investments to Bolster U.S. Tech Leadership, Advance Internet of Things

Jun 23, 2015 SIA, Broad Coalition Call for Government Policies That Drive Innovation

Nov 13, 2014 Professors from UC Berkeley and UT Dallas Honored for Excellence in Semiconductor Technology and Design Research

Mar 5, 2014 University of Minnesota Professor Sachin Sapatnekar Honored for Excellence in Semiconductor Research

Nov 7, 2013 Applied Materials Chairman Mike Splinter Awarded Semiconductor Industry's Highest Honor

Nov 6, 2013 University of Florida Professor Mark Law Recognized for Excellence in Semiconductor Research

Feb 6, 2013 Semiconductor Industry Leader Urges Congress to Support Basic Scientific Research

Jan 17, 2013 Semiconductor Industry Forms Unique Partnership with Government and Universities to Develop Next-Generation Chip Technology


Thursday, March 23, 2017 9:00 am U.S. Semiconductor Firms Top List of Patent Recipients in 2016

Thursday, February 16, 2017 6:30 pm Sen. Hatch’s Innovation Agenda Would Strengthen U.S. Semiconductor Industry

Friday, January 6, 2017 11:00 am SIA Welcomes White House Report on Sustaining U.S. Semiconductor Leadership

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 4:30 pm Government, Industry Leaders Discuss Steps to Strengthen U.S. Semiconductor Industry

Monday, October 31, 2016 3:30 pm New White House Group to Tackle Semiconductor Industry Challenges: Commerce Secretary Pritzker to Discuss Future of Industry on Wednesday

Charter Members