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Design007-Sep2022

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72 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2022 To solve the overall problem, investment in wafer foundries must be accompanied by fund- ing for advanced packaging of the chips that will come from the new foundries being sup- ported by the CHIPS Act. Without that addi- tional capability, many of these new chips will be sent overseas for packaging, which would defeat the bill's purpose of boosting domes- tic chip production overall. ankfully, this is communicated in the CHIPS Act, and is get- ting more focus from players across the elec- tronics industry. While there is concern that the big play- ers in advanced packaging will suck up all the funding, there's hope that additional comple- mentary and novel approaches such as addi- tive manufacturing will also see meaningful investment. Even a small portion of the overall budget planned for advanced packaging can go a long way in the hands of nimble, innovative companies that, when working together, can raise the bar for everyone in the electronics industry. We Must Innovate Now, Or We'll Be Here Again Collectively, we need to get serious about forming teams, writing proposals, and expand- ing the electronics space to encompass emerg- ing technologies like additive electronics and flexible hybrid electronics (FHE), because we know other countries are pursuing new ways to create new classes of electronics, and have already made significant headway. Today there is limited semiconductor packaging in the U.S., with early funding intended to go into heterogeneous integration methodologies at large companies. e inclusion of investment in additive electronic interconnect packaging would be complementary and could have an impact on a broad set of businesses in the sup- ply chain. If we don't invest in these forward-thinking methodologies, we are likely to be back here in five years: discussing a U.S. electronics defi- ciency and how to get out of it. In fact, it will be even harder to achieve leadership in the future, because as stated above, we know that others around the globe are investing in addi- tive processing for electronics packaging and interconnect technology. China, Taiwan, and European nations have had investment strategies for basic R&D for decades, so the U.S. will quickly fall behind in an accelerating race if we do not make signifi- cant investments in this area. e CHIPS Act changed this conversation overnight, and people are having discussions that were not previously thought of: We must put money into the whole solution and the supply chain, not just the front end of the line. Every interconnect layer, substrate, and pack- age must be considered, including new and efficient ways to produce these layers and inte- grate them with the chips we rely on today, as well as ways to make chips thin, flexible, and capable of several different forms so they can be applied to even more uses. Our Immediate Next Step is Building Out Our Chip-building Workforce Another key focus of the CHIPS Act must be workforce development. e fact is, we don't have a ready workforce to run all the proposed chip fabs and advanced packaging factories. Innovation will follow the people, and the geo- graphic locations of innovation hubs—such as Ohio, where Intel is planning to build its fab facility—will need to appeal to people for work and to live. For every job in manufacturing, many more supporting companies and staff are needed, so these manufacturing jobs have a multiplicative impact on a location's employ- ment. Hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs are at stake, so workforce development becomes part of the essential infrastructure of not just the chip production facilities, but the local economies and national economy they will support. ese are high-wage, high-skill jobs at stake, and we need universities and community col- leges with the facilities and curricula to edu-

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