Semicon West panel questions US competitiveness
Rick Nelson- July 12, 2006
The semiconductor industry organization SEMI is optimistically predicting that this year will be the second largest year ever for sales of new semiconductor equipment, my colleague Ann Steffora Mutschler at Electronic News reports from Semicon West.
She adds, though, that in a panel discussion held at the trade show, participants were somewhat pessimistic about US government efforts to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the chip-making industry. For example, Joseph Bronson, president and CEO of FormFactor, commented, “This country is not in very good shape with regard to supporting engineering. We can’t even get the R&D tax credit, which affects a huge number of companies.”
Bronson also criticized the Sarbanes-Oxley act. “While it makes a lot of sense if you do it right, it has put a lot of companies at a competitive disadvantage, particularly smaller companies in the $50 to $100 million range, that are spending $1 to $2 million on compliance activities,” the FormFactor CEO said.
“This country is not supporting technology at a policy level; that is the key issue for all of us, for all of our companies,” Bronson concluded.
I think there is a little too much whining about Sarbanes-Oxley, but in general Bronson is right.