Semiconductor Chips

AP News | |

What started as a pragmatic effort to boost scientific research and development has morphed into sweeping Senate bill aimed at making the U.S. more competitive with China and other countries, including $50 billion in emergency funds to shore up domestic computer chip manufacturing.

The American Innovation and Competition Act is key to President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plans and was heading toward final passage despite some glitches late Thursday. It’s also a test of whether the split 50-50 Senate can accomplish bipartisan achievements at a time when there’s pressure on Democrats to change the rules to push past obstruction and gridlock.

Reuters | |

U.S. President Joe Biden met with executives from major companies on Monday to discuss the global chip shortage that has hit automakers and spurred Intel Corp to announce it plans to make chips for car plants at its factories in the next six to nine months.

During the meeting, Biden said he had bipartisan support for legislation to fund the semiconductor industry. He previously announced plans to invest $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research as part of his drive to rebuild U.S. manufacturing under a $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

Reuters | |

General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co both said on Thursday they will cut more vehicle production due to a semiconductor chip shortage that has roiled the global automotive industry.

The White House plans a summit on the chip shortage issue next Monday that is expected to include GM Chief Executive Mary Barra and Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley and top technology firm executives.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Apple Inc (Nasdaq: AAPL) has postponed production of some MacBooks and iPads as the global semiconductor shortage continues, Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday.

According to the report, MacBook production is being hit by a lack of chips that are mounted on the computer’s circuit board, while the iPad is being slowed by issues in the supply chain for display components.

Reuters | |

A U.S. auto industry group on Monday urged the government to help as it warned the global semiconductor shortage could result in 1.28 million fewer vehicles built this year and disrupt production for another six months.

The U.S. Commerce Department should dedicate a portion of funding in a proposed bill to expand U.S. semiconductor production to auto sector needs, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation said in written responses to a government-initiated review.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, plans to invest $100 billion over the next three years to expand its manufacturing capacity to keep up with rising demand. 

On Thursday, the Taiwan-based company said it will use the funds to “increase capacity to support the manufacturing and [research and development] of advanced semiconductor technologies.” 

Reuters | |

A recent fire at a Japanese semiconductor factory and severe weather in parts of the United States in February have exacerbated an ongoing chip shortage plaguing the global auto industry, data firm IHS Markit said on Wednesday.

IHS said it now expects disruptions to the production of nearly 1.3 million global light vehicles, up from a prior forecast of 1 million in the first quarter.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Samsung Electronics Co said production at its US semiconductor plant in Texas has returned to near-normal levels following more than a month of disruption.

The South Korean chipmaker’s Austin plant was ordered to temporarily halt production amid power outages and severe winter weather last month.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Renesas Electronics Corporation (OTC US: RNECY) said damage from a recent fire at one of its chipmaking plants in northeast Japan is more extensive than initially reported.

Following the March 19 fire at the Naka plant, the company said 11 machines – about 2% of its manufacturing equipment – were destroyed, but on Monday the Nikkei reported the number of inoperable machines is now believed to be around 17.

Reuters | |

(Reuters) -Stellantis NV and Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio became the latest carmakers to announce new production cuts as a result of a global semiconductor chip shortage.

Stellantis said on Friday it will temporarily halt production at five North American plants next week because of the global microchip shortage: two assembly plants in Canada, one in Mexico and two in the United States. The production halts will start next week through early to mid-April.