DiscoverWSJ Tech News BriefingChip Making in the U.S. Gets Billions, But Still Faces Hurdles
Chip Making in the U.S. Gets Billions, But Still Faces Hurdles

Chip Making in the U.S. Gets Billions, But Still Faces Hurdles

Update: 2024-06-03
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This episode of Tech News Briefing begins by exploring the privacy implications of car data collection. The Mozilla Foundation found that most car manufacturers collect personal information from drivers, including location data, driving habits, and even music preferences, with limited control given to consumers. While the car industry has voluntary guidelines, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the practices and has stated that car makers cannot monetize personal information beyond what is necessary to provide the requested service. Major car manufacturers acknowledge privacy concerns and offer opt-out options for data collection and sharing. Privacy experts advocate for greater driver control over data collection and usage, expressing concerns about data being sold to data brokers for marketing purposes or insurance companies for rate adjustments. The episode then shifts to the Chips Act, a $53 billion initiative aimed at boosting US semiconductor manufacturing. While the act has successfully secured funding for major chip manufacturers like Intel, TSMC, Samsung, and Micron, the funding has been challenged by the high cost of chip production and the rapid growth of chip industries abroad. The episode discusses the impact of the Chips Act on the US's global chip market share, which is expected to rise from 12% in 2020 to 14% by 2032. The episode also explores the challenges of funding allocation, with the defense industry receiving a significant portion of the funding, leading to concerns about the impact on commercial research and development projects. The episode concludes by discussing the need for more sustained incentives, such as tax credits, to support the long-term growth of the US semiconductor industry.

Outlines

00:00:00
Car Data Privacy Concerns

This Chapter discusses the privacy concerns surrounding car data collection. The Mozilla Foundation found that most car manufacturers collect personal information from drivers, including location data, driving habits, and even music preferences, with limited control given to consumers. While the car industry has voluntary guidelines, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the practices and has stated that car makers cannot monetize personal information beyond what is necessary to provide the requested service. Major car manufacturers acknowledge privacy concerns and offer opt-out options for data collection and sharing. Privacy experts advocate for greater driver control over data collection and usage, expressing concerns about data being sold to data brokers for marketing purposes or insurance companies for rate adjustments.

00:05:07
The Chips Act: Boosting US Semiconductor Manufacturing

This Chapter focuses on the Chips Act, a $53 billion initiative aimed at boosting US semiconductor manufacturing. While the act has successfully secured funding for major chip manufacturers like Intel, TSMC, Samsung, and Micron, the funding has been challenged by the high cost of chip production and the rapid growth of chip industries abroad. The episode discusses the impact of the Chips Act on the US's global chip market share, which is expected to rise from 12% in 2020 to 14% by 2032. The episode also explores the challenges of funding allocation, with the defense industry receiving a significant portion of the funding, leading to concerns about the impact on commercial research and development projects. The episode concludes by discussing the need for more sustained incentives, such as tax credits, to support the long-term growth of the US semiconductor industry.

Keywords

Chips Act
The Chips and Science Act of 2022 is a US federal law that provides $53 billion in subsidies to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research. The act aims to address the shortage of semiconductors, which are essential components in electronic devices, and to strengthen the US's position in the global semiconductor industry. The act includes funding for research and development, workforce training, and the construction of new chip fabrication plants (fabs).

Car Data Privacy
Car data privacy refers to the collection, use, and sharing of personal information gathered from vehicles and their related phone apps. This data can include location data, driving habits, music preferences, and other personal information. Concerns about car data privacy arise from the potential for this information to be used for marketing, insurance rate adjustments, or other purposes without the driver's consent. The car industry has voluntary guidelines, but the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the practices and has stated that car makers cannot monetize personal information beyond what is necessary to provide the requested service.

Mozilla Foundation
The Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization that advocates for internet health and user privacy. The foundation is known for its work on the Firefox web browser and its efforts to promote open web standards. In the context of car data privacy, the Mozilla Foundation conducted a study examining the privacy practices of 25 car brands, finding that most car manufacturers collect personal information from drivers with limited control given to consumers.

Semiconductor
A semiconductor is a material that has electrical conductivity between that of a conductor and an insulator. Semiconductors are essential components in electronic devices, including computers, smartphones, and cars. The global semiconductor industry is highly competitive, with major players including Intel, TSMC, Samsung, and Micron. The US government is working to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing through the Chips Act.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the US government that protects consumers and promotes competition. The FTC has jurisdiction over a wide range of business practices, including advertising, consumer credit, and data privacy. In the context of car data privacy, the FTC is investigating the practices of car manufacturers and has stated that car makers cannot monetize personal information beyond what is necessary to provide the requested service.

Q&A

  • What are the privacy concerns surrounding car data collection?

    Car manufacturers collect a lot of personal information from drivers, including location data, driving habits, and even music preferences. This data can be used for marketing, insurance rate adjustments, or other purposes without the driver's consent. Privacy experts advocate for greater driver control over data collection and usage.

  • What is the Chips Act and what are its goals?

    The Chips Act is a $53 billion US federal law aimed at boosting domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research. The act aims to address the shortage of semiconductors and to strengthen the US's position in the global semiconductor industry. The act includes funding for research and development, workforce training, and the construction of new chip fabrication plants.

  • How is the Chips Act funding being allocated?

    The Chips Act funding is primarily going to major chip manufacturers like Intel, TSMC, Samsung, and Micron. A significant portion of the funding has been allocated to a secure project making defense industry chips, which is expected to go to Intel. This has led to concerns about the impact on commercial research and development projects.

  • What are the challenges facing the Chips Act?

    The Chips Act faces challenges from the high cost of chip production and the rapid growth of chip industries abroad. The act's funding may not be sufficient to significantly boost US semiconductor manufacturing, and there is a need for more sustained incentives, such as tax credits, to support the long-term growth of the industry.

Show Notes

The Chips Act is supposed to supercharge U.S. semiconductor making. But two years in, it is becoming clear it won’t be an easy process. WSJ semiconductors reporter Asa Fitch joins host Zoe Thomas to discuss the overseas rivals and the sheer expense of making chips. Plus, your car could be collecting information on you. We’ll explain how and what you can do to maintain your privacy.




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Chip Making in the U.S. Gets Billions, But Still Faces Hurdles

Chip Making in the U.S. Gets Billions, But Still Faces Hurdles

The Wall Street Journal