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Abbott: New semiconductor group to propel Texas as leader of semiconductor innovation

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(The Center Square) – Members of a newly created Texas Semiconductor Innovation Consortium Executive Committee will work with industry stakeholders to ensure Texas is a national leader in advanced semiconductor research, design and manufacturing.

The members were recently announced by the governor after he signed the Texas CHIPS Act into law last year. The consortium is tasked with overseeing aspects of the law’s implementation through the Texas CHIPS Office.

“Texas is the birthplace of the integrated circuit, and we now lead the nation as the No. 1 state for semiconductor manufacturing,” Gov. Greg Abbott said when announcing the members of the TSIC executive committee. They “will leverage the expertise of industry leaders and our world-class higher education institutions to ensure we not only remain the best state in America for semiconductors but we become a global leader for semiconductor innovation.”

Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan appointed seven members to lead the TSIC. The governor appointed Dr. David Daniel Jr., Sameer Pendharkar, and Lawrence “Larry” Smith to the Executive Committee for terms set to expire at the pleasure of the governor. Daniel is serving as the chair. Patrick appointed Jeff Smith and Guy Schweppe; Phelan appointed Eric Almgren and David Lee. Their appointments expire at the pleasure of the appointing officer.

A full list of committee members, along with their qualifications, can be found here.

Last year, Abbott signed the Texas CHIPS Act into law to leverage Texas’ investments in the semiconductor industry, encourage semiconductor-related companies to expand in the state, further develop the expertise and capacity at Texas higher education institutions, and maintain the state’s position as the national leader in semiconductor manufacturing.

The law created the consortium housed within the Texas Economic Development & Tourism Office (TEDT) in the Office of the Governor. It also created the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Fund (TSIF) and allocated more than $698 million to be made available for a range of grants and economic development incentives. The legislature also appropriated more than $660 million to create advanced research and development centers at The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.

The future of America’s semiconductor industry is already building in Texas, the governor says, which is the top state for semiconductor manufacturing. More than 43,000 Texans work in the semiconductor industry and this year, Texas will have led the U.S. for 13 consecutive years in the export of semiconductors and other electronic components, according to TEDT.

To support this growth, last August, Abbott announced a record $142 billion in total investment to improve roadways and the connectivity of Texas’ transportation infrastructure. The legislature also authorized a $1 billion fund for water supply and infrastructure expansion projects, which voters approved by passing a constitutional amendment in the November 2023 election.

In 2021, Samsung first announced it was investing $17 billion in a new facility in Taylor, Texas, to build semiconductors and microchips. Two years later, it said it could potentially add 11 additional semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Taylor and Austin.

In 2022, Texas Instruments broke ground on a new semiconductor plant in Sherman, Texas, announcing a $30 billion investment to expand its manufacturing capability long term. It was the largest private-sector economic investment in Texas history.

Also in 2022, Taiwan-based GlobalWafers Co. announced its plan to build a new 300-millimeter silicon wafer factory in Sherman to minimize a U.S. semiconductor supply chain resiliency issue.

Abbott and companies expanding operations in Texas argue making Texas a headquarters of semiconductor manufacturing will reduce the potential for future supply chain shortages and dependence on manufacturing in China.

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