Semiconductor R&D scorecard shows Europe, China up, Japan down

June 16, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Semiconductor R&D scorecard shows Europe, China up, Japan down
The US remains the driving engine of global semiconductor R&D but with Europe increasing its significance while Japan diminishes, according to an analysis of the sources of papers to leading chip conferences.

Stiftung Neue Verantwortung eV, a non-profit think tank based in Berlin, has produced the white paper report that shows the rising and falling contributions to leading-edge semiconductor R&D by nations and regions. It was done by using the official IEEE application programming interface to access the IEEE records of the four leading conferences from 1995 to 2020. The report is entitled: Who is developing the chips of the future.

SNV chose to tabulate the contributions to the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) and the twin Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits (VLSI). These were classified in terms of the locations of the authors, taking into account international collaborations.

The method only surveyed the main technical programs and did not include keynotes or invited papers.

Paper contributions to IEDM, ISSCC, VLSI by national and regonal origin from 1995 to 2020. Source: Stiftung Neue Verantwortung.

The result shows that in 2020 the United States was responsible 40.9 percent of the total, a small decrease from the 43.2 percent of the total papers presented in1995.

In 1995, Europe was responsible for 12.5 percent of the papers and has increased its significance to 24.9 percent of the total in 2020. Europe's rise is undoubtedly due to the work of its research and technology organizations (RTOs), mainly IMEC, Leti and the Fraunhofer Institutes.

However, with Europe's decreasing market share in chip sales the authors conclude that while a strong R&D may be necessary for a strong semiconductor industry it is no guarantee.

Next: It's all about Asia

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