Perhaps no human invention has had a more profound effect on civilization than the semiconductor. Today, more than 100 billion integrated circuits can be found in daily use worldwide. Nearly everything, from the toaster in your kitchen to the car you drive, is a modern marvel of semiconductor technology.
Washington knows semiconductors. We’ve been in the high-tech business for more than 60 years now, building a supply chain that is aligned perfectly with the growing needs of the consuming public and growing businesses that want to tackle the “next big thing” the industry has to offer. From research and development to the latest advances in manufacturing, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, blockchain and more, Washington is a one-stop shop for companies that want to be market leaders for decades to come.
Brilliant minds, skilled workers and a robust ecosystem that thrives on innovation are hallmarks of Washington’s tech economy. The state is centrally located by air to major European and Asian markets, and connected to the rest of the Americas by highways and rail lines. Washington offers an affordable, stable source of low-cost power and water. Investments in clean energy, infrastructure, broadband and business incentives will continue to drive down costs while supporting a growing sector encompassing the full spectrum of semiconductor products and services.
According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, the $550 billion semiconductors will become a trillion-dollar business by 2030. Washington has repeatedly proven that it can turn ideas into revenue streams and offers savvy semiconductor companies unparalleled opportunities. The state is particularly well positioned to take advantage of the CHIPS Act as companies embark on new research and development, production and manufacturing projects to produce the next generation of semiconductors.
- #1 in the U.S. for Net Tech Employment Concentration – CompTIA 2023
- 42.9% Science and Engineering Degrees as a % of Higher Ed Degrees Conferred (National Average: 33.9%)
- 7,000+ semiconductor and electrical component workers
- Semiconductors are Washington’s 8th largest export by value
- $1.6 billion total contribution to the State’s GDP
- $2.5 billion wage impact by semiconductor manufacturers
With its historic leadership in manufacturing, R&D and technology, Washington is ideally suited to usher in a new age of semiconductor innovation.
Synergies from the state’s technology sector – software, hardware, cloud computing, AI, blockchain, VR and quantum computing – are spurring new ideas across the spectrum of the semiconductor industry, from new products and processes to leading-edge research in promising new fields.
The state’s semiconductor supply chain includes:
- Research & development, including equipment and fabless R&D
- Design houses, including fabless and IDM chip design
- Manufacturers of:
- Semiconductors and related devices, including integrated device manufacturers (IDM)
- Silicon wafers and ceramics
- Application-specific integrated circuits
- Laser systems
- Printed circuit board assemblies
- Providers of manufacturing processing equipment
- Suppliers of materials and resources, such as metal and electric components and high-voltage power supplies
- Advanced packaging
- Product testing and certifications
Washington offers a strong incentive package for businesses producing solar energy systems and semiconductor components. These incentives come in the form of tax preferences, which can significantly benefit manufacturers in the industry. By providing this support, Washington is encouraging the growth of green energy and helping to create a more sustainable future for us all.
Washington is well connected to the world, whether you’re moving by air, rail or highway. The state is centrally positioned between Asian and European markets by air, and Washington’s ports are a day’s sail closer to key markets in the Pacific Rim. Domestically, the state’s highways and rail networks connect to major markets throughout the U.S., Canada and Central and South America. Raw materials and products can move swiftly and efficiently to and from the factory floor.
Water & Power
Having sufficient sources to power your operations efficiently and affordably is essential to success in this industry. With 5,000 miles of rivers and streams, Washington has a reliable water source for your production and processing needs. Waterways provide an added bonus: Washington has the largest coordinated hydroelectric network in the world and a commitment to developing new energy sources to reduce the state’s carbon footprint, creating a steady source of low-cost industrial power. The U.S. Department of Energy rates Washington one of the lowest cost power rates in the nation. By keeping energy costs low, companies can reduce their overhead costs and stay competitive in the global marketplace.
The weather used to be an afterthought in decision-making, but not anymore. Recent studies have shown that the extreme weather gripping much of the nation in recent years could cost the U.S. $100 to $500 billion in lost productivity annually by 2050. Washington fares well in weathering changes in the climate. According to PolicyGenius.com, the Puget Sound region ranks #2 as the best place to live as the climate changes. The rankings were based on six factors: Heat and Humidity, Flooding and Sea Level Rise, Climate-related Disasters, Air Quality, Social Vulnerability and Community Resilience.
Research & Development
The industry benefits from the University of Washington (UW) and Washington State University (WSU), which have robust chip research programs and studies in machine learning, hardware-software co-design, next-gen chip architecture and specialized chip design for AI.
The Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF) at the UW plays a significant role in chip research, providing access to leading-edge and traditional micro and nanofabrication processing equipment. The largest publicly-accessible fabrication facility in the Northwest, WNF allows users to conduct basic and applied research, advanced research and development, and prototype production in a variety of research areas.
The Northwest Nanotechnology Infrastructure (NNI) is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that offer a range of services, including design, fabrication, and characterization of micro and nanoscale structures. The facilities have numerous applications, including microelectronics, photonics, MEMS, and nanobiotechnology.
The state’s education system offers an array of programs to support the semiconductor industry and the growing need for qualified workers. With a strong focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Washington is well-positioned to provide semiconductor companies with the engineers, computer scientists and technicians they need.
To meet industry demands, Washington’s Community and Technical Colleges (CTC) support the semiconductor industry with advanced and high-tech manufacturing programs across the state. The CTC offers high-tech manufacturing workforce training programs that are continually adjusted to meet current and future industry needs. Working alongside this network of state higher education institutions, the Center of Excellence for Semiconductor and Electronic Manufacturing supports industry, education and workforce leaders to improve the supply of qualified workers in high-tech manufacturing in southwest Washington.
The Southwest Washington High Technology Council (HTC), which represents the largest assembly of semiconductor industry employers in Washington State, also coordinates career connected learning opportunities with high tech manufacturers in the region.
Completing the circuit.
Washington State is poised to take the world of semiconductors by storm. The state’s history of innovation can point to an endless stream of products and services that have changed the world and how we use technology to make it a better place. Join us in our efforts to usher in a new generation of semiconductor technologies.
M-F: 8am - 5pm
2001 Sixth Ave., Suite 2600, Seattle, WA 98121