The latest bipartisan bill parallels the CHIPS for America bill that was introduced into the House of Representatives and the Senate previously (see CHIPS for America Act promises $22.8 billion in aid). And like the CHIPS for America bill it has been welcomed by the Semiconductor Industry Association.

There are many similarities to the CHIPS for America bill and it is likely that the two bills will be merged during the process of legislative scrutiny.

The American Foundries bill proposes spending up to $25 billion with $15 billion to support commercial microelectronics manufacturing. A further $5 billion would be earmarked to administration by the Department of Defense. Another $5 billion would be spent on R&D by adding it to the budgets of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Electronics Resurgence Initiative, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and NIST.

There is also a proposal for a committee to produce a report every year and coordinate funding and a “buy American” where possible policy to be adopted by the DoD.

“We applaud the bipartisan group of leaders in Congress for introducing this important and timely bill and urge Congress to work collaboratively to strengthen the bill and bolster domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research. Doing so will help ensure America continues to lead the world in semiconductors and the many technologies they enable, including influential future technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and advanced wireless networks,” said John Neuffer, CEO of the SIA, in a statement.

Willy Shih, a professor at Harvard Business School, said in an article that the bill goes further than the previously discussed support for Taiwanese foundry TSMC in Arizona (see TSMC dragged to the altar of US manufacturing). This is because the money could also be used to upgrade existing facilities, such as those belonging to Intel an Globalfoundries (see Globalfoundries secures option on land for chipmaking expansion). Samsung, which has a large wafer fab in Austin, Texas, could also benefit.

Shih also sees support for assembly, test and advanced packaging as important. With the advent of chiplet manufacturing, in part forced by the prohibitive cost of continued miniaturization, could come to fore. For years this was seen as a minor part of the IC production process and has almost entirely outsourced to Asia for decades.

Related links and articles:

CHIPS for America Act promises $22.8 billion in aid

TSMC dragged to the altar of US manufacturing

Globalfoundries secures option on land for chipmaking expansion

Globalfoundries, SkyWater sign deal to strengthen US chip supply

Germany pushes for more semiconductor independence from US, China

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