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Semiconductors, reshoring and Fed policy

John Denslinger investigates reshoring for self-sufficiency as a national competitive advantage. A merica was once the hub for semiconductor manufacturing but that leadership shifted to Asia at the turn of the century as many domestic companies embraced the fabless model. Today the Asia Pacific Big 4 (a term coined by Deloitte) consisting of South Korea, Taiwan, China and Japan dominate semiconductor manufacturing. In fact, by 2019 South Korea and Taiwan alone held a commanding 81 per cent share of the global foundry market substantially influencing design, supply and cost of nearly every technological product from automobiles to smart phones to…

Unmasking workplace and company culture

John Denslinger wonders what post pandemic workplaces will look like given all the data squarely points to hybrid. A careful look at a CDC demographic shows 62 per cent of the US adult population received at least one vaccine dose as of May 2021 and 50 per cent are now fully vaccinated. CDC guidance suggests vaccinated Americans can forego masks and social distancing: the two biggest impediments to everyday person-to-person interaction. As one would expect, the news generated swift policy changes across the country from state governments to business. America is open again. Given the steady pace of vaccinations, business…

America – Essential component battleground

John Denslinger investigates EV batteries and how their associated manufacturing and distribution supply chains represent new electronics industry frontier. I n April’s editorial I discussed the ‘small but big impact’ semiconductors were having on the supply chain citing the auto industry’s predicament in particular. Later that week, arguably the largest component, the EV battery, captured US headlines as LG Chem and SK Innovation settled a bitter lawsuit involving trade secrets. The resolution was significant. At risk was a $2.6B new plant investment under construction in Georgia. It represented a key piece of national security interest: that is, building critical technology…

Restoring order post pandemic

John Denslinger explores some of the challenges facing the global electronics supply chain as it emerges unevenly from pandemic controls. While medical teams, financial institutions and governments continue working tirelessly on Covid-19 issues, the forecast ahead for procurement is almost as daunting. Faced with the aftermath of shelter-in-place and similar decrees, the great American industrial reboot is about to begin. Containing the spread among citizens took precedence over business as usual. Yet for many of us, that decision ripped apart global supply lines, the life blood of our industry. Left in the wake were closed businesses big and small; employees…

Small but big impact

John Denslinger investigates why supply constraints of the tiniest components can have significant consequences for even the biggest industries. A WSJ article published in mid-February spoke to the impact of electronic components on the automotive supply chain. What prompted me to read the piece was the title: ‘How car makers collided with a global chip shortage’. Curiosity set in. Could a massive market segment like automotive really miss the warning signals? The warning signs were there and chief among them was scale. Automotive is a 100M vehicles per year market with EV accounting for less than three per cent of…

5G: just in time for work from home

John Denslinger shows how 5G is turning the ‘work from home’ phenomenon from an emergency solution to a sustainable and infinitely more productive alternative. Covid is once again rewriting ‘business as usual’. The virus single-handedly triggered the great workforce reformation of 2020 where the central office vanished and a dispersed ‘work from home’ (WfH) alternative took its place. Temporary? Hardly! That trend is not likely to change anytime soon. If you think about it, the WfH movement largely succeeded because a reliable, fast, robust communications network was available. Business teetered but more than survived thanks to time-tested WiFi and LTE…