2022 HardTech conference highlights supply chain issues and need for government support in the semiconductor industry

Spread the love

Tech Hub in Markham venturelab held its second annual event hardtack Summit, bringing together technology leaders to highlight hardware and semiconductor innovation in Canada.

Phil Wokins, Director, Channel, Alliance, and Cloud et intelopened the discussion by outlining supply chain issues affecting chip manufacturing following the lockdown in China, the Ukraine-Russia conflict and rising geopolitical tensions elsewhere.

He added that semiconductor is not a self-contained industry: “It’s not just about fully packaged chipsets, it’s right down to the very components of the semiconductor, where we need this whole new ecosystem.”

Jem Shout, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of. zenite, a Vancouver-based semiconductor startup, explained how startups in this industry are particularly affected by supply chain disruptions. In addition to delays in obtaining raw materials or test equipment, startups also face greater barriers to entering the market and dealing with the industry’s biggest gatekeepers, which are equipment vendors and R&D (research and development) manufacturing plants. (fab). Shout explained that disruptions between the supply chain and the innovation pipeline hinder the development of new technology.

Fellow Panelist and CEO of Semiconductor Startups bloomind, Neeraj Mathur acknowledged that the semiconductor industry is not “monolithic”; “There are a lot of different types of products, a huge variety of products, a huge variety of technologies, a huge variety of processes operating in this industry as a whole”.

Mathur said the semiconductor industry is also cyclical, though unpredictable. “If you look at the charts of the industry over the past 30 years, you’ll see this roller coaster curve that’s very characteristic of our industry. And things have stayed the same. The reason for this is two things; inventory issues, and when people When changes happen, there is always a tendency that when people change and the world economy that has a direct impact on the demand for these goods. So there is a lag in reform to adapt to the new demand dynamics,” Mathur said. Explained.

While Wokins lamented the unpredictability of health crises and global conflicts affecting supply chains, Shout observed that Covid-19 or natural disasters are no longer black swan events. “We are seeing more of these new incidents. Is our supply chain prepared to tolerate disruptions that may occur more frequently? Do we want to make that bet as a nation? Shout.

Regardless, the Asia-Pacific’s reliance on semiconductors is a problem, the panelists agreed. “Sixty percent of all chips in the world are made on a tiny island in Asia called Taiwan. And up to 90 percent of the more advanced chips are made in Taiwan. This is a huge weakness and anything can happen in the global supply chain, putting the entire world economy at risk.

Wokins said government support is critical for Canada to become an important node in the global semiconductor supply chain. “If we want to encourage chip, or semiconductor silicon manufacturing processes in any country in the world, remember, the organizations that have the power and the ability to do so are business entities. And it’s important that they have government support to start the conversation.”

Shout said the government should be prepared to help with this multi-layered problem, not impose hard caps on investment and drag Canada into a game that is already unfair and could generate havoc in the semiconductor sector. Is.

“The semiconductor industry creates $7 trillion in economic activity, and every job in it creates five to six jobs in other parts of the economy,” Wokins confirmed, citing a report SIA (Semiconductor Industry Association),

Wokins concluded that Canada has the right environment, climate and geography, and abundant space and talent to drive innovation and impact the global semiconductor industry in a big way.

Source link

Spread the love

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.