Monday, February 12, 2024
The White House announced plans today to invest over $5 billion in semiconductor research and development efforts, including launching the previously announced National Semiconductor Technology Center.
The announcement includes hundreds of millions of dollars funded through the CHIPS and Science Act in semiconductor workforce development and the launch of a national workforce center to train future talent this summer.
The Department first unveiled plans for the National Semiconductor Technology Center last April, with ambitions to reduce the time and cost needed to commercialize new chip technology in the U.S. The center is now the “centerpiece” of the Biden administration’s $11 billion semiconductor R&D program, according to the Commerce Department.
The remaining $11 billion bucket includes money for semiconductor packaging manufacturing, metrology R&D and a new national manufacturing institute focused on digital twins.
As part of its efforts to build a broader coalition of semiconductor developers in the U.S., the Commerce Department is also launching the “NSTC Community of Interest,” a no-cost, pre-membership program for industry stakeholders to provide input on the center’s offerings and structure.
Friday’s announcement also laid out plans for the center’s public-private consortium, including the establishment of the nonprofit the National Center for the Advancement of Semiconductor Technology (Natcast) to operate the center.
“Our first priority is to build a community whose members will help define the strategy and investments core to the semiconductor R&D ecosystem,” Deirdre Hanford, CEO of Natcast, said in the press release. “The NSTC represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish a new, long-lasting institution that can serve as an engine of innovation to benefit our nation’s national and economic security for decades to come.”
An update on early NSTC activities will be provided in March 2024 by NSTC Program Director Jay Lewis and Hanford.
The Biden administration has been ramping its chips funding announcements in recent weeks as it pushes to roll out more CHIPS and Science Act money. Last week, the White House announced $150 million for ten regions marked as emerging hubs of innovation in sectors such as semiconductor manufacturing and clean energy.
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