This article is published in the February 2017 issue.

White House Report on Ensuring Long-Term U.S. Leadership in Semiconductors

In December, the US White House released Ensuring Long-Term U.S. Leadership in Semiconductors. The report recognizes the importance of semiconductors—and semiconductor leadership—to modern life in a competitive world. While much of the report deals with policy issues—see a recent CRA Policy blog post—I focus on some of the technical recommendations in Chapter 4.

Importantly the report recognizes the future leadership in semiconductors—wit broadly—will need to move beyond Moore’s Law (twice the transistors every two years) to exploit innovations from applications down through computing’s software-hardware-technology “stack.”  To stimulate such cross layer activity, the report advocates that US government invest one or more  “moonshots.” Example possible moonshots provided by report include implantable bioelectronics for chronic conditions, biological/chemical/nuclear threat detection, disturbed electric grid, and global weather forecasting.

In these technical recommendations, this reports echoes issues pointed to by recent CCC and IEEE work, including: