Semiconductor Equipment

5 target areas for the CHIPS Act

28 October 2022

Five key areas in semiconductor R&D ecosystem have been identified as being strengthened by the newly signed CHIPS and Science Act, according to a new report from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The report highlights not just areas where R&D funding will be bolstered but how the funding from the CHIPS Act can be used to bridge key gaps in the current semiconductor ecosystem and pave the way for sustained U.S. chip leadership.

“Semiconductor R&D is essential to the innovations powering America’s economy, national security, advanced manufacturing and critical supply chains,” said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. “Enactment of the CHIPS and Science Act was a major step toward reinvigorating domestic chip production and innovation for years to come. The ‘Leadership Through Innovation’ study is a roadmap for implementing the new law’s R&D provisions and ensuring sustained U.S. leadership in chip technology.”

The CHIPS and Science Act was signed by President Biden in August after an extensive period of time working its way through Congress. The law will provide about $50 billion worth of funding for the building of new semiconductor manufacturing fabs in the U.S. as well as boost efforts to increase R&D and investment in research of new semiconductor materials and processes.

The five key areas include:

First, the transitioning and scaling of pathfinding research. This will serve to bridge the gap between early-stage R&D and at-scale production. This will allow industry and government agencies to participate in programs where it has interests and focus their own funds on their respective missions.

Second and third, research and development infrastructure. The CHIPS and Science Act will play a role in expanding, upgrading and providing access to technological development of semiconductor infrastructure.

Specifically, it will be used in existing infrastructure to leverage the funding and enable faster learning by benefiting from available resources. Additionally, it will help provide research efforts for transition paths for promising technologies through prototyping and scale-up.

Fourth, the CHIPS Act will support full-stack innovation to solve complex problems from collaboration across the full computing stack and accelerate the development of technologies, tools and methodologies. This will include providing input from organizations such as IEEE and JEDEC when developing standards for heterogenous integration, chiplets and other components of secure technologies.

Finally, the CHIPS Act will promote a range of programs to expand the size and skills of the U.S. semiconductor workforce. Without these efforts, the supply of highly skilled R&D workers threatens to limit the pace of innovation, SIA said.

For more information, read the full American Semiconductor Research: Leadership Through Innovation report

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