After a multi-year advocacy effort, the U.S. CHIPS and Science Act has been enacted and the funding is now in place for its implementation. At a time in which it is easy to be cynical about Washington, the CHIPS and Science Act is further proof that U.S. political leaders can come together on a bipartisan basis and do big things.
Notably, the U.S. is not alone in seeking to strengthen its domestic semiconductor industry. Governments globally are marshaling resources and policy mechanisms to make their own semiconductor industries more competitive in the global marketplace.
IPC is heavily engaged in Brussels where the European Union is making progress in the enactment of its own Chips Act. Our message to European policymakers is not unlike the message that IPC has communicated to U.S. officials: Advanced packaging must be central to any initiative to bolster a domestic semiconductor industry because advanced packaging is driving semiconductor advancements.
Unfortunately, not everybody has gotten the memo. I still meet far too many people working on technology policy who ask me: What is advanced packaging? Why do we even need these capabilities? Isn’t this what the chip fabricators do?
Thankfully, these questions are becoming the exception rather than the rule, and that is a testament to the industry’s collective efforts to educate policymakers and, just as importantly, to those technical experts in government who have taken pains to educate their colleagues and counterparts.
It is by virtue of this collective educational and advocacy effort that, today, the U.S. government is on the cusp of allocating $5 billion or more to advanced packaging R&D and capacity-building over the next five years.
But building a domestic advanced packaging ecosystem will require difficult strategic decisions, more coherent manufacturing policies, risky long-term bets, and greater collaboration between industry and the government.
There is certainly data to back up the industry’s focus to propel advanced packaging forward. IPC recently surveyed nearly 100 industry leaders in semiconductors and related fields, and we learned that there is strong support for increased public and private investment in advanced packaging efforts.
For example, 94% of electronics industry leaders report that improving the performance of semiconductors is increasingly reliant on advanced packaging. In addition, 84% believe that government initiatives to bolster the semiconductor supply chain require significant investment in advanced packaging capabilities. The survey is part of a new report titled Towards a Robust Advanced Packaging Ecosystem.
IPC is an industry leader in standards development, workforce training, industry intelligence, and advocacy. Much of IPC’s work in these areas centers around electronic interconnection and, of course, electronic interconnection is core to advancements in packaging. IPC’s representation of the advanced packaging industry, then, carries on work IPC has been doing in collaboration with leading electronics manufacturers for decades here in the U.S. and around the globe.
Please visit ipc.org to learn more.
This column originally appeared in the November 2022 issue of PCB007 Magazine.