Thornburg Investment Management Portfolio Manager Sean Sun in Chief Investment Officer Magazine

Why U.S. Efforts to Regain Chip Dominance Are Uphill

The American semiconductor industry ceded the lead to Asian rivals long ago, and now it is scrambling to catch up.

Are recent U.S. ambitions to recover lost ground in the vital semiconductor sector too little and too late? They may be, according to a host of skeptical strategists.

In the 1950s, two Americans, physicist Robert Noyce and electrical engineer Jack Kilby, invented the microchip—a tiny silicon wafer that today runs much of civilization’s underpinnings, from supercomputers to cell phones to cars. It packs legions of transistors onto something that’s the size of a grain of rice. The U.S. once dominated the chips business globally, in 1990 making 37% of them. Today, that share has fallen to 12%.

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