America has been behind on manufacturing for quite some time. America is heavily reliant on other countries like China, Taiwan, Indonesia and more recently Thailand and India for manufacturing consumer electronics parts and assembly.
Some of the most important parts of consumer electronics are semiconductors.
Semiconductors consist of the CPU and other components needed to make commands work when you issue them. Smaller chips and higher transistor counts make for more powerful and efficient devices.
State of affairs
There have been past efforts by Foxconn to open a semiconductor manufacturing facility in Wisconsin. It has been years and those plans still haven’t panned out. The factory is still nonoperational as of this writing.
In January TSMC started talks to build a plant on the west coast at the behest of the US Government. This is according to sources from the Nikkei Asian Review. Now they are pushing ahead according to recent March reports.
TSMC is responsible for helping Qualcomm as well as Apple build their SoC (Systems on a Chip). They even make chips for Huawei who find themselves the victim of a trade war. TSMC will start producing 5nm chips and 5G modems as soon as next month.
In the next development cycle there will be smaller chips in the form of 3nm. This should take place in current factories as well during 2022-2023. The hypothetical American facilities would be able to produce 2nm chips in 2024-2025.
There's also a push for Intel to build more chip plants in the US. They outsource much of their manufacturing to save costs. This is a common practice for American companies.
If more plants become operational here in the US companies will save on tariffs and shipping. Conversely, those savings might be offset by increased labor wages from the American workforce.
The Trump administration would like these companies to make an official announcement before this year's election. He campaigned heavily on bringing jobs and innovation back to America last go round.
WJS reports (via PhoneArea) that the Semiconductor Industry Association will deliver a study that implores the US Government to invest in billions into domestic chip production. Echoing the sentiments of the government.
If it all pans out that may be the case. Let’s hope the Coronavirus crisis is solved in the interim so people don’t fear going to work. Not just here in America, but all over the globe.