Microcontrollers, sensors, MEM's, are all alive and well in US fabs, as they are not "bleeding edge" litho flows so can operate in older smaller wafer fabs. But all those 300 mm fabs in Asia will do the same when the 450 mm fabs go live in 3 to 7 years. Assembly and test is 5x to 20x more labor intensive than wafer fab, so tends to be moved to latest "relatively safe" cheap labor country...and move when things get dangerous. Easier to move A/T than Fab.
Intel has new 8-10 billion dollar fab going live in Chandler AZ, and and new fab in Ireland I am told, keeping high tech fabs out of Asia. So highly automated fabs which require stable government, stable geography, can be based in US. (Ireland is all about taxes, another subject). So its all about components-of-cost vs components-of-risk and operations life cycle vs product life cycle. And taxes, incentives, geopolitics are all temporary issues that can change suddenly. You do not want to suddenly have to move a fab operation. And recent depression combined with newer automation makes the US more competition given all the risk factors. NOTE: Design centers can be moved easily anywhere that has design talent (and its highly automated already). And can be set up near competitor's operations, so you can hire away their designers. Its a jungle out there! But US is safer normally, and more competitive than EU, both of which have better living conditions for designers....unless they are Asians, educated at Berkely, now working in China, starting up fabless companies!!!!
Now if we could just get the tax structure fixed while still supporting health care and infrastructure updates. I will give up my mortgage interest deduction if Agriculture and Energy give up their old subsidy systems, which would help third world farmers, perhaps stabilize third world politics. We will see. No easy answers
I would say it's definitely a stretch. "Manufacturing in general is making a comeback in the US, and that chip making and other high-tech manufacturing operations are a big part of it." Really?
Just as much as I want those manufacturing jobs to come back, as Dylan pointed out, I see no evidence for such a comeback -- other than Globalfoundries' fab in NY -- as far as chip manufacturing is concerned.
Agree about companies slimming down. And I still think using the word "renaissance" is a bit of a stretch. But all of the R&D and fab activitiy taking place in New York has to give the U.S. some hope. Right?
I don't see a resurgence. There are some new fabs that are replacing some old ones, but the bulk for manufacturing (fab, assembly, test) is still in Asia and will stay there unless something big changes. The design still has a presence in the US, but the big companies also have design centers around the world, so no big change there either. The only change I have seen over the past few years is that the companies are slimming down, so the workforce is being reduced if anything.
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