🇬🇧 A flexible alternative: the UK manufacturer at the forefront of a technology shift in semiconductors
One trend that is common to all parts of the sector however, and driven by the fact that the industry has been built around a very concentrated supply, is the move towards localisation. Economies of scale in conventional semiconductor manufacturing mean that the most efficient method of production is in very large fabs. That leads to very high geographic concentration of supply, and due primarily to historic government incentives, most of that manufacturing takes place in the Far East, particularly in Taiwan and China. Therefore, a key driver for many governments around the world is how to redress the balance and have a supply chain that has less geopolitical exposure.
Because of the disruptive nature of the sector, the UK’s National Semiconductor Strategy was established to focus on areas where the country has distinct competitive strengths which can be sustained over time; namely the type of technology developed by Pragmatic. “Within that, there is an understanding that there needs to be support for semiconductor manufacturing,” he added. An example of this is the Semiconductor Advisory Panel, of which Scott is a member. Established by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), the panel’s aim is to enable the government to work closely with industry to grow the UK sector, ensuring a stable supply of chips and protecting the UK from national security risks associated with semiconductor technology.