R&D is often forgotten and neglected, despite being a critical element in most capital-intensive industries such as the semiconductor industry––its delicate ecosystem a crucial enabler for many of the key breakthroughs in the business. However, due to rising costs and a consolidation of the industry, companies are hesistant about spending on R&D.
But there could be a troubling trend, if not a crisis, brewing on two fronts in the R&D arena.
Case study: Sematech, a US-based major R&D chip consortium, has entered an uncharted future.
On one front, R&D costs for semiconductor technologies are escalating at each node. Higher R&D costs are not only making it more difficult for vendors to move to the next node, but are also putting a strain on budgets and contributing to the current wave of consolidation in the IC industry.
On another front, Asian and European R&D organizations are expanding their efforts while the United States is taking a step back.