Obama administration launches semiconductor study group

Group of industry veterans will focus on ways to strengthen the US industry, especially for nation's economic and security interests.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil
Luke Westaway/CNET

The Obama administration on Monday announced the formation of a working group to study issues affecting the US semiconductor industry, especially as they pertain to the nation's economic and security interests.

Working under the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the group of chip industry veterans will focus on core challenges facing the industry and make recommendations on strengthening the industry and maintaining the US leadership position in the face of new global challenges.

"Some countries that are important in this domain are subsidizing their domestic semiconductor industry or requiring implicit transfer of technology and intellectual property in exchange for market access," the White House said in a statement.

It also warned that higher production costs may make it impossible to maintain the pace of technological advancement described by Moore's Law -- the decades-old theory that processor power improves exponentially every two years.

"The exponentially growing cost of designing and fabricating higher-performance chips in the conventional mold is already stifling innovation, making it more difficult for startups and new ideas from university research to create new markets -- a key source of competitive advantage for America's entrepreneurial economy," the statement read.