Why is there a significant global investment in semiconductors?


The UK’s newest computer chip plant in Durham, known as Pragmatic Semiconductor, is transforming a former ceramic pipe factory into a sophisticated hub for chip manufacturing. The company has already built one production line and has secured funding of £182m ($230m) to build two more. Pragmatic Semiconductor is taking a different approach to chip manufacturing by producing flexible chips that can bend. These chips are cheaper and faster to manufacture compared to standard silicon chips. However, advanced chips used in phones and computers will still require silicon-based chips. The global chip industry has faced disruptions due to supply chain disruptions during the pandemic and geopolitical tensions in Asia, where 90% of the world’s most advanced chips originate. Governments are investing heavily in domestic chip industries to reduce dependency on key suppliers. The US, European Union, and UK have all pledged significant investments in the sector. However, there are concerns about duplication and wastefulness in the rush to build chip plants in Europe and the US. Pragmatic Semiconductor’s CEO predicts more diversification in chip manufacturing and usage as the demand for connected devices continues to grow.

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