Semiconductors help power everything from our cars to our computers, and some things much more advanced.

The University of Arizona Tech Park and greater Tucson area are pushing to become even more of a destination for that innovation.

Texas-based semiconductor company Strike Photonics is expanding to the Tech Park on the Southeast side. It uses light to make microchips with faster signal processing.

We see Tucson and Arizona being very strategic for us, Tim Kalthoff, Strike Photonics Vice President of Product Development, told KGUN.

Kalthoff is also from Tucson. He says this its an ideal place for expansion for multiple reasons.

One is the flexibility at the spacious tech park. Strike Photonics is starting with only a handful of Arizona employees, who are working on product development and customer-facing activity.

We can grow within the Tech Park, said Kalthoff. And that makes it really ideal. Its not displacing us dramatically as we grow. We see moving around within the Tech Park.

Even more crucial, he says, is a strong workforce coming out of the universitys highly-regarded Wyant College of Optical Sciences.

Several potential chip buyers are also in Tucson, in defense and other industries.

Economic development group Sun Corridor says that combination has led to a 40 percent increase in manufacturing projects in Tucson over the last three years.

Not only will you have those chip manufacturers, but you have a lot of companies circling around that industry to supply to that manufacturer, said Laura Shaw, Senior Vice President of Sun Corridor. And we want to be in that space.

Adding to Southern Arizonas advantage: a national push to make more semiconductors in America for a smoother supply chain.

Last years CHIPS and Science Act act is investing nearly $53 billion in federal funding into semiconductor manufacturing and research in the U.S.