With the digital transformation, new markets for the microchip industry are emerging such as highly automated cars, cloud, Internet of Things, connectivity, space, defence and supercomputers. However, recent global semiconductor shortages forced factory closures in a range of sectors, from cars to healthcare devices.
This highlighted the extreme global dependency of the semiconductor value chain on a very limited number of actors in a complex geopolitical context. See the European Commission’s homepage for details on how they plan to address this: https://commission.europa.eu/strategy-and-policy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/european-chips-act_en
“The Chips Act targets several areas of importance to TECoSA,” says Haydn Thompson of THHINK. “A key aim is to create a thriving ecosystem around next generation cutting-edge chips for future systems in automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, IoT and safety-critical systems. These are all areas where Europe has key strengths and domains that TECoSA is active in.”
“A Design Platform is planned that simplifies and accelerates the process of chip design. This will be targeted at SMEs and will leverage on European IP and tool providers as well as advances made under European funded activities such as the pilot lines and the Chips JU. More specifically, certification procedures for energy-efficient and trusted chips are planned to guarantee quality and security for critical applications. This – coupled with activities to support increased investment in manufacturing, increased access to equity investment for companies, and actions to foster skills – is expected to lead to significant innovation in microelectronics and future systems of importance to TECoSA.”