Dec 20, 2021 - Atlanta, GA
The world’s dependence on semiconductors came into sharp focus in 2021, when automotive manufacturing ground to a halt because of massive computer chip shortages – as Asian suppliers couldn’t keep up with demand for microelectronics – miniaturized electronic circuits and components that drive everything from smartphones to new vehicle components to hypersonics weapons systems.
The culprit was global supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The crisis has highlighted the pressing need for the U.S. to bolster its domestic semiconductor supply chains and industrial capacity, after three decades of decline as a semiconductor producer. The U.S. share of global semiconductor fabrication has dropped to 12% today, compared to 37% in 1990, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). In addition, the semiconductor industry today only accounts for 250,000 direct U.S. jobs.
As the country rebuilds its semiconductor infrastructure at home, Georgia Tech serves as a vital partner – to train the microelectronics workforce, drive future microelectronics advances, and provide unique fabrication and packaging facilities for industry, academic and government partners to develop and test new solutions.
“We’re one of the only universities that can support the whole microelectronics stack – from new materials and devices to packaging and systems,” said Madhavan Swaminathan, the John Pippin Chair in Microsystems Packaging in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the 3D Systems Packaging Research Center.