Sub-Nano Challenge

$20B X-Prize

Goal

Create breakthroughs for Oregon’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing capability and support Intel’s journey back to the forefront of leadership in the global semiconductor industry.

Context

Congress enacted the CHIPS Act as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. CHIPS mandates investments in semiconductor R&D and manufacturing, but it did not appropriate the money to actually do anything. Without the money, these are empty gestures. Now, Congress must fund CHIPS and a partner act, FABS, that would help incentivize manufacturing in the United States. But CHIPS is just a down payment on the future. We must go further and push harder.

Intel is our largest employer in the Oregon 1st Congressional District. The last 10 years, however, have seen a dramatic loss of leadership in making advanced semiconductors. Today, none of the most advanced chips in the world (<10 nanometers) are made in America. Zero. Intel, America’s champion and Oregon’s biggest manufacturer, has lost the lead. The most advanced chips are now made in Taiwan and South Korea.

Intel has new leadership in Pat Gelsinger, a CEO that lived in Oregon for 25 years and knows us well. He is committed to rebuilding Intel’s leadership in advanced manufacturing, but he needs support for what will be a long, hard road against strong global competitors.

Actions

To regain our leadership in advanced technology, Scott believes the next representative in Congress must prioritize technology, must relentlessly and passionately support Oregon’s semiconductor industry, and must drive new ideas and incentives to create more jobs in this critical industry for our national security and prosperity. Scott promises to be a relentless advocate for semiconductor manufacturing in Oregon.

Scott believes the first obvious priority is to get the money for CHIPS ($52B) and FABS funded and enacted into law.

Second is to go further and be bolder, to tap into the entrepreneurial energy of America’s best minds, brightest scientists, and smartest engineers. TSMC, Intel’s biggest competitor, has a roadmap to chips only 1 nanometer in size that it will implement over the next 10 years. TSMC will invest $100B over just the next three years in R&D and new fabs (Congress is putting up $52B on a longer time horizon). We need to be thinking bolder than that.

If elected, Scott will propose – in addition to CHIPS and FAB - a federal Sub-Nano challenge for chip manufacturing in the United States with an X-prize of $20B for 9 Angstrom and 7 Angstrom chip manufacturing. Angstrom is the level below Nano. And that’s just a start.

When Pat Gelsinger committed to investing in Intel’s future with billions for future manufacturing plants, Wall Street reacted by punishing the stock price. Wall Street traders see Intel as a utility not a growth company. We need to create a strategy for helping Intel become a true growth company that invests cash in cutting edge capability rather than stock buy backs and dividend payments. If elected, Scott will work to help champion Intel as a growth company not a utility and do all possible to help Intel’s leadership and board communicate a growth mindset to the market and to the American public. Investing in Intel is investing in America.

Scott pledges to stay involved. Political support for semiconductor manufacturing is not a one-off bill to be passed or a statement of support issued when convenient or popular, but an ongoing process that must continue year-after-year. It must include quarterly updates on the roadmap and progress in getting to the goal of sub-nano chip manufacturing. It requires being interested and asking questions and then communicating what you learn more broadly. Scott will do everything he can to be a good partner and a proactive supporter of Oregon’s semiconductor industry, a critical source of high paying jobs for Oregonians.

In Oregon, Scott will work with the regional groups and elected leaders working to solve the land-use challenge for new chip fabs. Scott brings a different perspective to this challenge having lived and worked in Hsinchu, Taiwan for a short stint in 2000. He believes we should compare land-use in Hsinchu where TSMC is located with our own land-use in Hillsboro. Scott will ask questions, think creatively, and work to create new ideas on how we can free up land for more chip manufacturing.

Advanced manufacturing for the next generation of semiconductors below 1 nanometer will push the boundaries of physics and engineering at a time when even larger chips are having challenges.  Scott will focus on a sustained effort to create breakthroughs in manufacturing and making sure America and its allies have full control of critical IP and the requisite manufacturing knowledge.  We must look for breakthroughs in manufacturing chips that change the paradigm to be lower cost and more modular.

Finally, Scott believes in being proactive and accessible to our most critical industry. In China, their government officials make house calls, bring free loans, cut red tape, and wave regulations. We will need to come up with a formula that respects our own values, but is more compelling than what China competes with. Scott will work with Oregon’s chipmakers and elected officials to find that formula.

Like this idea?  Show your support for the Sub-nano challenge and chips of the future: