SUNY Issues Blueprint Demonstrating How New York State is Positioned to Lead the Nation on Semiconductor Industry Breakthrough Research, Manufacturing, and Workforce Development

September 30, 2021

Current Supply Issues for Modern Necessities like Cars, Cell Phones, and Electronic Devices Stem from Severe Shortages in Semiconductor Chips that Will Only Increase in Demand in Years and Decades to Come

"Supporting the Future of US-Based Semiconductor Manufacturing" Addresses the Need for Domestically-Produced, Smaller-Scale Chips with Higher Density for Data Storage, and Quicker Speed to Production by Accelerating Partnerships Between SUNY Research Campuses and the Manufacturing Industry

More Educated New Yorkers and Others Across the US Needed; The Full Report Available Online Here.

Albany, NY – The State University of New York issued a comprehensive vision to position New York State as the epicenter of the semiconductor industry in the "Supporting the Future of US-Based Semiconductor Manufacturing" research report. As the United States continues to see supply issues in everything from automobiles to cell phones and other electronic devices, the root cause is a severe shortage of semiconductor chips, slightly smaller than the size of an eraser. Globally the demand will increase in years and decades to come, and SUNY and the State of New York is poised to meet the demand.

During the September Board of Trustees meeting, Provost-in-Charge F. Shadi Shahedipour-Sandvik, who co-drafted the report, led a discussion on strategies including those brought forth by a group of SUNY faculty and staff across multiple campuses, for creating a domestic laboratory to fabrication ecosystem that accelerates commercialization of smaller-scale chips with higher density for data storage, and quicker speed to production that can happen from building stronger linkages between higher education—through innovative and inclusive technology translation and talent development—and the manufacturing industry.

Dr. Shahedipour-Sandvik and the SUNY team outline key elements needed to secure the future of the semiconductor for manufacturing in the United States—and how SUNY can meet these challenges, including:

  • Reducing power and improving efficiency
  • Enabling novel computing approaches
  • Meeting increasing data and communication needs
  • Ensuring computing manufacturing security
  • Training and maintaining a strong workforce
  • Providing access for students, researchers, and startups to infrastructure, bridge tools, training, education, and funding

The training of many more educated students will be needed, particularly in New York State, for the growing semiconductor industry, and the strategy centers on providing more New Yorkers, as early as possible, with access and education in microelectronics and semiconductor manufacturing. Key elements include:

  • Offering pre-college student education to start career and skills-oriented summer academies, workshops, and bootcamps to engage incoming two-year and four-year college students
  • Providing students with access to design-fab test experiences at the undergraduate level through courses and workshops that allow students to submit their own designs
  • Expanding experiential learning for students in advanced manufacturing, automation, machine learning, data literacy, and data-driven industry solutions
  • Expanding industry internships, fellowships, and co-ops to provide students with expanded mentoring opportunities
  • Expanding initiatives in student diversity to grow enrollment in microelectronics degree programs
  • Offering incumbent worker training and a Department of Defense transition assistance program support to provide reskilling and upskilling opportunities
  • Enabling microelectronics career transitioning linking highly qualified students with employers
  • In New York State, creating SUNY Microelectronics Workforce and Education Hubs, a system-wide approach to avoid redundant and unsustainable infrastructure

"The growth potential of the semiconductor industry is boundless, and SUNY has all the tools needed to take it to the next level for New York State—from our state-of-the-art research laboratories at SUNY, to our world class researchers spurring innovation, our strong industry partnerships, and the workforce development pipeline to meet the job demands of the industry—be it community colleges to research universities," said SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras. "Semiconductors are the source for data storage, and they drive just about everything we use—cell phones, cars, and other electronics. By harnessing the power of private and public partnership, and leveraging our collective resources, SUNY and New York State can be at the forefront of innovating semiconductor R&D, manufacturing, and workforce development, and in turn help solidify the nation’s competitiveness in microelectronics."

SUNY Board of Trustee Courtney Burke said, "This report conveys how SUNY is the driving force for developing innovative technologies, as well as a leader of offering education for specialized studies to students. The extensive collaboration between our SUNY students, faculty, and staff, with a focus on up and coming technologies, places SUNY at the front end of necessary research that has the ability to impact operations worldwide. With SUNY’s commitment to educating students on new industry standards, I am confident that SUNY will play a pivotal role in the growing awareness and needed development in the semiconductor industry for decades to come."

SUNY Provost-in-Charge Dr. Shahedipour-Sandvik said, "Artificial intelligence, electric cars, smart grid, cryptocurrency, internet-of-things, and even gaming cannot exist without the type of research and resulting data capabilities that the semiconductor industry provides. This involves a high-level of R&D sophistication, and, in order for the U.S. to stay ahead of the competition, higher education must lead innovation and training for our students and the generations to follow, as well as work hand in glove with our emerging manufacturers."

Read the full "Supporting the Future of US-Based Semiconductor Manufacturing" document.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit suny.edu.


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