Exclusive: US semi supply chain at risk, major investment and support required


There’s no doubt about it, the US semiconductor industry is now witnessing unprecedented demands; but it’s not just the chip manufacturers that are feeling the heat, the specialty gas supply chain as a whole is needing support like never before.

Demand for semiconductors in the US is as much as 17% higher in 2021 than it was in 2019, according to the US Department of Commerce, and the majority of on-stream semiconductor manufacturing facilities are operating at or above 90% utilisation, meaning there is limited additional supply to bring online without building facilities.

These strains, however, were already withstanding before the Russia and Ukraine crisis that has continued to affect the world in many different ways. With a significant percentage of the world’s semiconductor-grade neon production derived from Ukraine and Eastern Europe as a whole, concerns for the stability of rare gases supply as the Russian invasion of Ukraine are ongoing.

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