SIA Celebrates its 35th Anniversary

Last week GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO Ajit Manocha joined special guest Dean Kamen, world-renowned inventor and innovator, and other leaders of the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Semiconductor Industry Association.  It’s amazing how much the industry has accomplished in innovation and technological advancement over the past three and a half decades.

Ajit addressed the 35th Annual SIA Award Dinner, kicking off his role as SIA Chairman and telling the crowd, “The coming year will be critical for our industry, as we face a range of policy and regulatory challenges and opportunities that will help determine our course for the next decade and beyond,”

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The new SIA administration is coming in at a very exciting time for the industry and Ajit has several goals that include or tax reform, the environment, export controls, research funding and cybersecurity.

Tax Reform

In order to provide a level playing field with competing countries, there needs to be reform to corporate tax policies. The SIA will work to establish a globally competitive tax rate, shift to a territorial system and support incentives for research and innovation. It cannot accept changes in the current system that will ultimately make the US semiconductor industry less competitive.

By helping to advance repatriation and ensuring that profits made from these funds brought back from overseas are taxed at a much lower rate, there is a window for the semiconductor industry to be seen as a leader in this discussion for all US manufacturers.

This is a topic Ajit is particularly passionate about and wants the industry to recognize its role in helping lawmakers understand the benefits this would bring to the country going forward.

Environment

The industry has already progressed in environmental policy, but there is more that can and should be done.

“We must promote environmental and other regulations that support the semiconductor industry’s unique flexibility needs in responding to rapidly changing technologies and markets,” Ajit explained.  “I have two children, and I believe it is extremely important to ensure our future generations feel better and safer in the environment they live in.”

Export Controls

As commercially available technologies begin to run up against current limitations on radiation hardness, it is imperative that the semiconductor industry continues to work with the administration and lawmakers to ensure that a new regime is developed to addresses both industry and national security issues.

Research Funding

Ajit’s career began as a research scientist in Bell Labs and he knows what enabled the United States to lead in innovation and advanced manufacturing thus far and believes we can no longer look at being the world’s leading innovator as an option.  “We need to take advantage of the window of opportunity during the first two years of this administration before politics again take over.”

Longer term funding for SIA priority research programs is critical to sustaining the pipeline of discoveries that fuel our industry and the economy.  This includes DARPA, NIST and NSF, as well as ASIC research performed at universities and national labs

Cybersecurity

This is one of the areas that keep administration officials up at night and this issue is emerging as one of critical importance to the semiconductor industry.

While this topic encompasses many subtopics, the semiconductor industry is uniquely positioned to provide guidance in areas of mutual concern. The potential impact of IP theft on industry, financial markets and the military can be devastating. The SIA will work with the administration and lawmakers to be a resource for preventing this very serious problem.

The SIA will keep a vigilant eye on the changing dynamics in Washington DC and what other opportunities present them.

“We have always been good at keeping an ear to the ground and will need to continue to do so.”