In a significant move toward addressing environmental concerns and enhancing supply chain security, the United States and the European Union are set to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) in the quest for substitutes for persistent per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) in semiconductor production. The decision was revealed in a draft statement seen by Bloomberg, emanating from […]

In a significant move toward addressing environmental concerns and enhancing supply chain security, the United States and the European Union are set to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) in the quest for substitutes for persistent per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) in semiconductor production. The decision was revealed in a draft statement seen by Bloomberg, emanating from the joint US-EU Trade and Technology Council meeting held in Leuven, Belgium.

AI to accelerate discovery of PFAS alternatives

The draft statement outlines the commitment of both entities to collaborate on identifying research opportunities focusing on alternatives to PFAS in semiconductor manufacturing. PFAS, commonly called “forever chemicals,” have raised alarms due to their pervasive presence in various industrial applications, water, food supplies, and the human body. Notoriously resistant to degradation, PFAS pose long-term environmental and health risks.

Adopting AI capacities and digital twins is proposed to expedite the discovery of suitable materials to replace PFAS in semiconductor fabrication processes. This innovative approach underscores the pivotal role of AI technology in addressing complex industrial challenges while promoting sustainability.

Additionally, the draft statement confirms the intention of the EU to collaborate with the US in assessing the security risks associated with legacy chips within their respective supply chains. Legacy semiconductors, fundamental components in numerous sectors, including technology and automotive industries, are crucial for global economic activities.

The surge in Chinese investment to bolster legacy chip production has prompted concerns regarding market distortions and potential dependencies. The US and EU are committed to gathering and exchanging non-confidential information and market intelligence regarding non-market policies and practices. The collaborative efforts may lead to the formulation of joint measures to address distortions in the global supply chain for legacy semiconductors.

Extension of collaborative mechanisms

As part of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) agenda, the US and EU are poised to extend their cooperation on existing mechanisms to safeguard semiconductor supply chains. The early-warning mechanism, designed to swiftly identify supply-chain disruptions, is slated for another three years of collaboration. Moreover, both entities intend to prolong a mechanism facilitating information sharing concerning public support provided to the semiconductor sector.

The collaborative initiatives between the US and EU underscore a shared commitment to addressing critical challenges in semiconductor manufacturing and supply chain management. By harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence, stakeholders aim to mitigate environmental risks associated with PFAS while fostering innovation in materials science. Furthermore, the joint review of security risks in semiconductor supply chains reflects a proactive approach toward ensuring resilience and stability in global technological ecosystems.

In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and interconnected economies, such collaborative endeavors are essential for fostering sustainable growth and mitigating emerging risks. As the US and EU forge ahead with their strategic partnership, the implications of these initiatives are poised to resonate across industries worldwide, shaping the trajectory of semiconductor innovation and supply chain resilience.