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Semi industry fights to stay operating in pandemic

Apr 1, 2020
Silicon wafer

The semiconductor industry’s biggest players are petitioning the U.S. government to designate the semiconductor industry as an essential business and keep chip supplies moving.

The industry body, SEMI, has joined the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) along with a many chip manufacturers from Intel and Texas Instruments to Micron Technology and Globalfoundries.

John Neuffer, SIA president and chief executive, argued in this post that chips are critical to infrastructure, ranging from telecommunications networks to power grids. 

Ajit Manocha, CEO of SEMI, sent letters to state governors and various leagues and associations requesting consideration of the semiconductor industry as an essential business.

It’s reported that requests from chip manufacturers to stay open have been granted in New York, the current epicenter of the virus in the U.S. It is claimed these production plants are among the cleanest places in the world, according to the SIA, with workers entering and exiting the factory floor through airlocks while wearing coveralls, boots, hoods, face masks and gloves to protect the silicon chips from contamination.