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Friday, November 5, 2021
With a strong history of leadership in manufacturing, Michigan is now paving the way as a world-leading innovation hub for the semiconductor industry.
In the early 20th century, Ford’s assembly line put Michigan on the map for innovation in manufacturing. Over 100 years later, the state that put the world on wheels continues to evolve and innovate in industries that impact our lives every single day. With a century-old tradition of cutting-edge manufacturing, Michigan is now leading the next generation of technology and manufacturing, particularly in the semiconductor space.
Invented in America, semiconductors are the country’s fourth-largest export after airplanes, refined oil and automobiles. From smartphones and TVs to medical equipment and vehicles, semiconductors play a significant role in how we communicate and connect today. With the most robust manufacturing ecosystem in the U.S., Michigan offers a diverse supply chain with immense knowledge and efficiency in the semiconductor industry.
Michigan’s semiconductor industry by the numbers
Michigan-based companies leading the way
Michigan’s demonstrated leadership in advanced manufacturing within the semiconductor field is evident in companies with a longstanding presence in the state, such as Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation, the largest producer of polysilicon in the U.S.
“Because of the pandemic, we’re spending a lot of time at home connected to each other through our computers, smart phones and tablets. By providing the fundamental raw material for semiconductors, HSC is helping everyone stay in touch — exemplifying HSC’s purpose to connect and energize the world from right here in Michigan,” said Brooke Beebe, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Engagement at Hemlock Semiconductor.
Companies in the semiconductor industry also continue to invest in the state, building a steady momentum over the years that make Michigan well-suited to house the industry’s future. In July 2021, for example, semiconductor wafer manufacturer SK Siltron announced plans for a $300 million expansion of operations in Bay County, creating up to 150 jobs. Infineon Technologies Corp., a German-based world leader in semiconductor solutions, invested $1.5 million in its Livonia, Mich. facility in 2018 as it expanded its role in the self-driving auto industry.
Meanwhile, in 2018, Silicon Valley-based corporation KLA sought a location to build its new research and development center. With over 350 North American locations in the running, Michigan stood out for its rich talent base and affordable cost of living. Michigan has the highest concentration of engineers in the nation, and the engineering program at the University of Michigan is ranked among the top ten in the U.S. KLA built its R&D semiconductor research center in Ann Arbor in October 2018. It has since doubled its original investment and surpassed its hiring goals, bringing in more than 330 employees to the state.
“Our partnership with Michigan Economic Development Corporation has been instrumental in enabling KLA to serve our global customer base from the new headquarters and benefit from the impressive engineering talent and business culture that Michigan offers,” stated Rick Wallace, president and CEO of KLA. “KLA has been part of the most significant technological breakthroughs throughout its 45-year history. As we continue our journey at the forefront of semiconductor technology, we’re thrilled that Ann Arbor and the state of Michigan are now part of our story.”
Today, one-third of the U.S. battery production and development occurs in Michigan, with 1,500 workers employed at various battery manufacturing and OEM locations, including LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI and AKASOL.
With leading manufacturers, suppliers, R&D facilities, universities and ancillary services that contribute to the state’s setup for success, Michigan is leading the world for the next generation of semiconductor manufacturing and development through its robust R&D ecosystem. Michigan ranks in the top 10 nationally for the number of STEM degree completions at our higher education institutions and is home to the fifth-largest advanced manufacturing workforce in the country. The University of Michigan is the top global institute for semiconductor training.
As the global epicenter of the automotive industry and home to one-fifth of U.S. auto production, Michigan is equipped to support the increasing global demand for semiconductor technology.
With a rich history in manufacturing and innovation, Michigan is poised to be a guiding hand as the world’s needs for semiconductor technology continue to evolve in the 21st century.
To learn more about how Michigan is driving the next generation of high-tech industry innovation, go to michiganbusiness.org/tech.
To contact a business development specialist, click here or call 1.888.522.0103.