Reshoring Vital To The Future Of Chipmaking

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Repatriating offshore manufacturing efforts to the United States – i.e., “reshoring” – is not a new concept. The Reshoring Initiative was founded in 2010, and the Reshoring Institute, founded in 2014, conducts annual surveys of global manufacturers regarding their reshoring plans. The institute’s 2019 survey found that, while a growing number of businesses were rethinking their global manufacturing strategies, several key factors were causing them to delay reshoring efforts – 50% cited having no current U.S. facility. Since then, several major wafer manufacturers, including GlobalFoundries, Intel and TSMC, have publicized plans to implement or greatly expand their wafer fabrication capabilities in the U.S. These efforts support the revival in U.S. manufacturing indicated by a Thomas industrial survey publicized last May, just a few weeks after the onset of COVID-19. The pandemic necessitated shutdowns that significantly disrupted the global supply chain and, by extension, the chip manufacturing industry. While these bottlenecks have eased to a degree, the situation brought to the forefront the reality of how easily the supply chain can be corrupted by factors that we can’t foresee or control.

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