The semiconductor industry is leading the greatest period of progress in history. We have followed Moore’s Law to once unimaginable levels, and semiconductors have revolutionized the way we work, communicate, travel, entertain, harness energy, and treat illness, just to name a few.
And our greatest potential still lies ahead. As the building blocks of technology, semiconductors will continue to enable the world’s greatest breakthroughs. From aerospace and consumer electronics to energy and medicine, entire industries will be transformed.
The semiconductor industry has a longstanding tradition of partnering with government to spur innovation and build a bridge to the future. In the 1980s, the industry teamed with government to establish 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 Semiconductor Technology Advanced Research network (STARnet) and the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI) – that are unmatched in size and scope by programs in other industries.
In 2015, U.S. semiconductor companies invested about one-fifth of total revenue in R&D – the highest rate of any industry. The semiconductor industry has consistently prioritized R&D – even during difficult economic times and throughout fluctuations in sales revenue – because chip designers and manufacturers know that these investments will pay off down the road. The federal government should maintain its share of the partnership and fund scientific research at sustainable levels.
Through collaboration, and effective government policies, America will continue to lead the world and the semiconductor industry will continue to create jobs, drive economic growth and develop the technologies needed to build our future.