The EU and US have pledged $100B investment in semiconductors with their chips acts. A huge percentage will go to building new fabs, but both acts acknowledge that factories are no use without trained people to run them.
The NSF commissioned a report on research, education and workforce development - recently delivered by Matthew Guthaus, Christopher Batten, Erik Brunvand, Pierre-Emmanuel Gaillardon, David Harris, Rajit Manohar, Pinaki Mazumder, Larry Pileggi & James Stine.
The critical challenge, however, is how we will educate and establish a
workforce to create designs for manufacturing in these fabs
Open-source options should be emphasized wherever possible to maximize accessibility.
It demands that we figure out how to rapidly triple qualified candidates even
as there are 15% fewer students and most competing industries have a substantial head start in
engaging and inspiring K-12 students.
The NCDC should restart and manage a free instructional tape-out program in which students in
community colleges, 4-year universities, and graduate students can tape-out their class design.
For too long the semiconductor industry has been inaccessible, limiting opportunity and stifling innovation. Now is the time to enable anyone with an interest to try microelectronics, and perhaps plant a seed that develops into the workforce of the future.
You can read the full report here, or you can check my highlighted version here.