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SEPTEMBER 2023 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 31 passing my bipartisan bill, the Securing Semi- conductor Supply Chains Act. This bill will ensure that the government develops strate- gies to attract investment in semiconductors here in the United States to bring our coun- try back to No. 1 in the world in semiconductor manufacturing and to maintain our leadership in technological innovation. While these bills are needed to reduce our reliance on foreign manufacturers and boost domestic investment, chips are just one source of vulnerability in the microelec- tronics supply chain. Chips sit on printed cir- cuit boards (PCBs), critical and complex com- ponents of almost every piece of electronics used today. All chips are mounted on PCBs, which allow them to communicate with the systems they power. Currently, as with semi- conductors, China dominates PCB production, creating 45% of PCBs globally, while the U.S. market share is only 4%. From my near decade of service on the House Intelligence Committee, I know first- hand the vulnerabilities of foreign-made prod- ucts in our supply chains and the risks of for- eign-made products embedded in the tech- nology that powers everything from the medi- cal devices that keep us healthy to the military equipment our servicemembers rely on to pro- tect our nation. This dependence on foreign suppliers gives our adversaries the opportu- nity to compromise our phones, computers and other electronics by inserting malicious components into PCBs. That's why I'm proud to lead the way on investing in PCBs and why I introduced the bipartisan Protecting Circuit Boards and Sub- strates Act. My bill is modeled on the CHIPS program for semiconductors by providing incentives for the PCB and substrate indus- tries to invest in domestic PCB manufactur- ing facilities. These new facilities will support thousands of high-quality jobs and help train workers across the country, all while bringing PCB production back to the U.S. SMT007 A good battery needs high energy density to power devices, and stability, so it can be safely and reliably recharged thousands of times. For the past three decades, lithium-ion batteries have reigned supreme—proving their performance in smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles. But battery researchers have begun to approach the limits of lithium-ion. As next-gen- eration long-range vehicles and electric aircraft start to arrive on the market, the search for safer, cheaper, and more powerful battery systems that can outperform lithium-ion is ramping up. A team of researchers from the Georgia Insti- tute of Technology, led by Matthew McDowell, is using aluminum foil to create batteries with higher energy density and greater stability. The team's new battery system, detailed in Nature Communications, could enable electric vehicles to run longer on a single charge and would be cheaper to manufacture—all while having a posi- tive impact on the environment. "We are always looking for batteries with higher energy density, which would enable elec- tric vehicles to drive for longer distances on a charge," McDowell said. "It's interesting that we can use aluminum as a battery material, because it's cost-effective, highly recyclable, and easy to work with." (Source: Georgia Institute of Technology) Aluminum Materials Show Promising Performance for Safer, Cheaper, More Powerful Batteries

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