The United States was once the global leader in semiconductor manufacturing with a huge number of U.S. firms owning and operating fabs that not only served domestic electronics manufacturers but manufacturers worldwide.
The tide has shifted in recent years, however, as foreign nations have prioritized chip manufacturing by awarding research grants, providing tax benefits, and offering incentives with construction. While there’s still plenty of chipmaking activity in the U.S., the industry has prominently moved to overseas markets in places like Taiwan, China, and South Korea.
Still, the semiconductor industry remains a core component of the U.S. economy. While it very much leads the way in terms of chip design, currently only 12 percent of chips themselves are manufactured on U.S. soil.
Re-shoring semiconductor manufacturing
However, a major change occurred in 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting supply chain relations between the U.S. and China, the U.S. government has called for the return of domestic semiconductor manufacturing. Already, several efforts to re-shore semiconductor manufacturing are underway, spearheaded by the U.S. government, chip manufacturers, and other industry organizations.
Almost immediately, in March 2020, Intel announced the building of its first large-scale foundry operation that will be located at is Ocotillo campus in Arizona, where the company plans to start construction of two semiconductor fabrication facilities in 2021. A few days later, TSMC responded with an announcement to build a $12 billion 5 nm semiconductor fabrication facility in Arizona within the next year.
These and other re-shoring efforts are set to continue in 2021. Most recently, as reported by Reuters, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced that it will soon start soliciting proposals for a program that will provide incentives to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing capabilities. With more companies and organizations re-shoring semiconductor manufacturing, there is a growing need for engineering, fabrication, welding, design, procurement, consulting and construction services within the sector.
Since January 2021, over 30 of Tri Tool’s 300 Series tube squaring machines have been purchased by semiconductor manufacturers, general contractors, and mechanical contractors to aid with the construction of new fabrication facilities. With unmatched precision and the flexibility to be customized, Tri Tool’s 300 Series tube cutting, facing, and squaring machines have become the gold standard within the semiconductor industry. They are designed to deliver rapid, accurate, and repeatable results while being easy to transport, set up, and operate.
Tri Tool’s 300 Series tube squaring machines are the perfect companion for autogenous orbital welding systems, delivering the high level of repeatable precision required by those systems for optimal weld results. Achieving the optimal combination of precision, reliability, and portability, 300 Series tube squaring and facing machines are designed to provide perfectly square ends on cut lengths of tube and fittings. This makes the 300 Series stainless steel tube squaring machines ideally suited for high-purity environments requiring ultra-precision in weld preparation, such as in semiconductor fabrication facilities.
To learn more about how Tri Tool’s custom engineering and precision machining solutions and services for semiconductor applications, email Semiconductor@TriTool.com
Jackson, K. “Semiconductors are the engine of the global economy—and America isn’t making enough of them.” Fortune. June 20, 2020. https://fortune.com/2020/06/30/america-tech-semiconductor-manufacturing-investment/
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