Editor’s Note: John Boyd, Jr. is the principal of The Boyd Co., and a site selection expert, writing today about the semiconductor industry and why North Carolina is well-poised to recruit, potentially, billions of dollars of investment.  Boyd’s posts appear regularly on WRAL TechWire. 


RALEIGH – The CHIPS Act is exactly the kind of federal legislation that is in North Carolina’s economic development wheelhouse.

By the federal government putting the U.S. back in the global game when it comes to semiconductor manufacturing, North Carolina also becomes a favored player for this high-paying, high tech industry.

The bill signed this week by President Biden comes as the share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the U.S. has decreased from 37 percent in 1990 to only about 11 percent today.

This precipitous and dangerous drop is largely attributed the substantial incentives offered by the governments of global competitors like China.

Semiconductors have become essential to virtually all sectors of the U.S. economy and sectors well-represented in North Carolina, including medical devices, aerospace, the EV industry, communications, clean energy and information technology.

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Site selection factors like tech skill sets, dependable power and water resources and strong academic linkages position the state well as a location for semiconductor manufacturing.

The Triangle’s life sciences prowess gives it yet another edge because medical device makers are increasingly reliant on chips.  North Carolina State University, already recognized as a semiconductor center of excellence, is another plus for the state.

The latter should position North Carolina well to attract one of the regional innovation and technology hubs to be funded by $10 billion earmarked for training and education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

A couple of years ago, a coalition of 59 CEOs and senior executives signed a letter urging Congress to bolster chip production in the U.S.

Interestingly enough, the letter included signatures of several executives with Triangle ties, including Gregg Lowe, CEO of Durham semiconductor manufacturer Wolfspeed, Arvind Krishna, the CEO of IBM, Chuck Robbins, the CEO of Cisco, and Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft.

This is a great example of a letter to your congressional representative getting results for the nation and for North Carolina.

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