IEEE-USA Livestream Webinar: The CHIPS Act: A New Era in US Semiconductors


David Bondurant reviews 50 years of Semiconductor and Computer Technology History, using his personal life story to provide background to highlight the driving forces behind the $52B CHIPS Act, passed in 2022. Following the invention of the transistor in 1947, the US semiconductor industry led the world in innovation in semiconductors from 1950 through 1980, as Moore’s Law shrunk transistors and increased the complexity of chips. In 1975, Japan's government began investing in semiconductor technology with their largest firms. Their focused DRAM program rapidly captured 50% of the semiconductor market and drove most US DRAM companies from the market. The US responded with the Very High Speed Integrated Circuits (VHSIC) program in 1980. By the end of the 1980s, the Berlin Wall fell and the US maintained its leadership in supercomputers. In 1983, Korea joined the world competition, beginning development of DRAM products. By 1993, they had overtaken the Japanese and have become the leading supplier of DRAM. In the 1990s, they developed non-volatile NAND Flash products and became the leading supplier of all commodity memory products by the 2000s. During the same time period, Taiwan entered the semiconductor foundry market focused on highly integrated logic chips, investing in increasing costly factories. By the 2000s, they became the leader in silicon foundries and the US went increasingly fabless, with companies such as Apple, Qualcomm, AMD, and Nvidia depending upon offshore foundries. In 2014, China launched its $150B Big Fund to become competitive in the world market. By 2022, a focused Chinese effort in 5G wireless communication has made them a world leader in this technology and they are gaining ground in memory and logic. The most semiconductors are no longer being manufactured in the US. Taiwan and Korea have gained technical leadership. As Moore’s Law hits the wall, new Beyond Moore technologies in semiconductor process and packaging require us to maintain our semiconductor leadership so that we keep computer leadership and security. Matt Francis reviews the details of the $52B CHIPS Act. The Act subsidizes and expands existing facilities to increase onshore supply, returns leading edge manufacturing to the US, reinforces our traditional strengths in chip design and equipment, and grows the US Workforce to support the expanded manufacturing. New technology centers strengthen R&D throughout all regions of the US. Speaker(s): David Bondurant, A. Matt Francis Agenda: IEEE-USA's free webinars/events are designed to help you find your next job, maintain your career, negotiate an appropriate salary, understand ethical considerations in the workplace and learn about other career-building strategies and public policy developments that affect your profession. For information regarding upcoming webinars or to visit our vast webinar archive, please visit: This program is offered exclusively to active IEEE members. Virtual: