Northrop CEO praises effort to bolster domestic semiconductor production

By Marjorie Censer / June 24, 2021 at 12:38 PM

The chief executive of Northrop Grumman this week said she sees government efforts to increase semiconductor manufacturing in the United States as a key step forward.

Speaking at a virtual Council on Foreign Relations event, Kathy Warden praised the CHIPS for America Act.

"Having the ability to control a supply chain in semiconductor and chip production, in my view, could become a national imperative, and we don't want to wait until a conflict puts us into a position where it is a national imperative," she said. "That doesn't mean it all needs to be on-shored, but it does mean we do need to have clear access deep into the supply chain for semiconductors."

She said the CHIPS Act is "a really important step forward."

Warden told viewers she sees the supply chain shortage related to semiconductors as temporary, though it will likely last a couple of years.

That issue, she added, is largely a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused demand to decline and then surge.

"The second and more important issue for us to unpack is the R&D and the fact that both advanced production of chips and packaging is largely outside the U.S. for anything less than 14 nanometers," Warden said.

"That is a key to our further advancement in computing and our ability to use these smaller-size chip form factors in advanced computing applications," she continued. "So I would love to see us as a nation go back to not only having some on-shore capacity in production . . . but most importantly that we also are focused on the forefront of capability with development and packaging of those smaller form factors."