Chip manufacturer Pragmatic Semiconductor has suggested the government’s weak semiconductor strategy is to blame for a US expansion.
The taxpayer funded chipmaker is looking to raise upwards of £100m of investment as it eyes up a US expansion after setting up a subsidiary there in February.
“We’re not going to be raising 10 times that, but we’ll be raising more than that in this round,” Pragmatic founder Scott White told the Telegraph.
He said although the company’s desire is to keep their manufacturing capacity in the UK, “it is subject, to a certain degree, to having the right initiatives coming out of the [Government’s semiconductor] strategy that give us the support we need to do that and scale effectively within the UK.”
Tech and microchip bosses have slammed ministers pledges to invest £1bn in the semiconductor industry over the next decade, saying it is a “drop in the ocean” and leaves the UK “very vulnerable”.
By comparison, the US is investing $50bn (£9.2bn) in their chip industry. Last month Germany said they will invest 20bn euros (£17.3bn) in semiconductors.
City A.M. approached Pragmatic Semiconductor for comment.
Commenting on the matter, a government spokesperson said: “Our targeted strategy doubles down on British strengths to cement our leadership role in an integrated global market; we do not need to get into a costly subsidy race to do this.
“As set out, we will announce plans by the autumn on support for investment in the semiconductor manufacturing sector, particularly where they are critical to the UK’s tech ecosystem or national security.”
Last week the government unveiled its Semiconductor Advisory Panel, which was supposed to be announced during London Tech Week earlier this year.
Pragmatic’s founder White was appointed to the panel, along with Richard Grisenthwaite, chief architect at Cambridge-based chip designer Arm, and Americo Lemos, boss of IQE, leading British semiconductor manufacturer.
The panel will be co-chaired by technology minister Paul Scully and former boss of Dialog Semiconductor Dr Jalal Bagherli.
A government spokesperson said “this group will be fundamental to the success and expansion of the UK chip sector into the future.”
Condemning the overdue announcement, Simon Thomas, co-founder and CEO of graphene-based semiconductor company Paragraf, previously told City A.M.: “The government’s semiconductor strategy has thus far done little for scaling UK semiconductor manufacturing businesses other than deliver promises of what we ought to wait for, the first of which was the UK government Semiconductor Advisory Panel.”