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The electronics manufacturing industry is applauding a bill being voted on this week in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would, if enacted, launch a new era of federal government partnership with the industry.
IPC supports H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act and its objective of strengthening the United States’ technology capabilities.
Like its Senate counterpart, the U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Act (USICA), the America COMPETES Act contains $52 billion to strengthen the U.S. semiconductor industry and implement the CHIPS for America Act. Also like the Senate bill, the House bill would boost federal investment in research and development (R&D) in a variety of technologies.
Notably, the House bill would appropriate at least $2.5 billion in fiscal 2023 for advanced packaging R&D, aimed at helping U.S.-based companies adopt new techniques to electronically connect multiple chips in a single package through integrated circuit substrates. In a post-Moore’s Law world, with the pace of improvements in chips slowing down, advanced packaging offers an alternative way to achieve more computing power and economic efficiency.
A report last week from the U.S. Commerce Department called for urgent action on semiconductors. But chips do not function on their own. Recent IPC studies have urged Congress to combine its investments in semiconductor manufacturing with additional support for advanced packaging, printed circuit boards (PCBs), and related technologies. Without such action, U.S.-made chips would still need to be sent offshore to be manufactured into finished products, leaving the U.S. vulnerable to supply chain shocks.
“We’re pleased to see Congress making progress on the bipartisan goal of re-establishing U.S. leadership in advanced electronics, which power everything from automobiles to medical devices, aircraft, smartphones, and beyond,” said IPC President and CEO John W. Mitchell. “This bill has the potential to begin rebuilding the U.S. electronics manufacturing ecosystem.”
Adds Chris Mitchell, IPC vice president of global government relations, “While the U.S. has allowed its domestic electronics industries to atrophy, America’s competitors have invested heavily in theirs. This legislation is an opportunity to put America on pace to rebuild this crucial industry, which is so vital to our future security and prosperity.”