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Biden signs US Chips Act – video

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By Nick Flaherty

President Joe Biden has signed the $52bn US Chips Act into law.

“After American manufacturing was hollowed out, we let semiconductors go overseas,” said Biden at the signing “Today we bring microchip building, and the jobs that come with it, home.”

The act, officially labelled HR4346, allocates the funding for semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workforce development. This includes $39bn in manufacturing incentives, including $2bn for legacy chips, $13.2bn in R&D and workforce development, and $500m to provide for international information communications technology security and semiconductor supply chain activities. It also provides a 25 percent investment tax credit for capital expenses for manufacturing of semiconductors and related equipment that will help Applied Materials take on Dutch equipment maker ASML.

More details are here: US CHIPS Act also supports Open RAN – details

As a result of the Act, the US Whitehouse cites Micron announcing a $40bn investment in memory chip manufacturing which aims to increase the US market share of memory chip production from less than 2 percent to up to 10 percent over the next decade.

Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries are also announcing a new partnership that includes a $4.2bn of GlobalFoundries’ upstate New York facility. Qualcomm announced plans to increase semiconductor production in the U.S. by up to 50 percent over the next five years. GF CEO Tom Caulfield was at the signing, as were other semiconductor CEOs, including Hassane El-Khoury of onsemi and Aart de Geus of Synopsys.

At the same time the president’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released the first details of its recommendations on semiconductors R&D that could be funded by the bill.

This includes forming a national microelectronics training network for semiconductor workforce development across academic institutions, including minority-serving institutions and community colleges as well as fostering innovation by reducing the barriers of entry to startups.

It also recommends the development of a chiplet platform to enable startups and researchers to more rapidly innovate at lower cost and setting a national semiconductor research agenda with fundamental research and grand challenges. For example this could include a challenge to build the first zettascale supercomputer similar to the plans at the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre.

The full PCAST semiconductors report will be released in the autumn.

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