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Industry leaders form new Semiconductor Council to strengthen Canada’s chip supply chain

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Semiconductor industry leaders have founded Canada’s Semiconductor Council to strengthen and secure its position in the semiconductor industry.

The current semiconductor shortage highlights the dire need to better secure and address semiconductor supply chains from manufacturing to delivery. While there are plenty of chip designers in Canada, homegrown semiconductor manufacturing capabilities are non-existent.

The council, founded on May 5, aims to bolster domestic development and manufacturing of semiconductor products.

The founding members include:

  • Salim Teja, partner of Radical Ventures
  • Pamela Pelletier, country manager of Dell
  • Kevin O’Neil, managing director of AMD
  • Sarah Prevette, chief executive officer of Future Design School and founder of BetaKit
  • Melissa Chee, President of ventureLAB

The press release noted that Canadian graduates are highly sought after by global semiconductor companies for being the cream of the crop in STEM talents. Statistica lists that nearly a quarter of all post-secondary enrollment was in computer and electronics-related programs in 2019. Canada needs a concerted effort to retain its talent domestically.

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“One of the biggest hurdles facing Canada’s domestic hardware and semiconductor companies is the lack of access to venture capital,” said Teja. “As a result, many technology founders are forced to seek foreign capital, often resulting in early exits at low values to foreign ownership.”

Global semiconductor supply chain has been outpaced by exceptionally high demand. The constraint caused major disruptions to all technology sectors, especially the automotive and consumer electronics industries.

The lack of control chips has stalled vehicle manufacturing lines, and high-end consumer hardware such as processors and graphics cards leave system upgraders empty-handed.

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