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Michigan State University works to bring semiconductor chip manufacturing to Midwest

General Motors-Chip Shortage
Posted at 3:54 PM, Dec 02, 2022

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University is one of the 12 colleges teaming up to find a solution to the global semiconductor chip shortage, and their work is just beginning.

A question many people have been asking is what is a semiconductor chip?

"Semiconductors perform basic integrated electronic functions in almost all all aspects of our daily lives. So in vehicles, that would be everything from running your windshield wipers, to running your advanced navigation systems, to control systems and anything in between," MSU professor John Albrecht, executive director of University Research Organization, said.

Semiconductors are a key element to the supply chain for vehicles, especially electric vehicles.

"We anticipate a much larger and wider need for sensor systems, battery control systems and other advanced navigation techniques, all of which will rely on semiconductors," Albrecht said.

Which is why Michigan State, along with 11 other universities, formed a coalition to bring semiconductor chip production to the Midwest.

"The CHIPS Act has opened up opportunities for universities and businesses all over the country," Albrecht said. "The specifics of these interactions are still to be determined, but there is a widespread interest and investment at the university level."

The CHIPS Act, which is a national initiative to expand capacity for semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S., is crucial to the automotive industry as the demand rises for electric vehicles.

Albrecht says he thinks they have a widespread interest in reengaging the semiconductor community perhaps in ways they haven't in recent decades.

Though the coalition is still in its beginning stages, Albrecht says the university is heavily invested and has recently approved a new building that's themed in the semiconductor area.

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