Gina Raimondo, US Secretary of Commerce, delivered a speech on the Chip Act and a Long-term Vision for American Technological Leadership at a press conference on Thursday local time, making it clear that the US government will use the Chip Act funds, To build two large advanced logic chip manufacturing clusters with supply chain systems, research and development centers and infrastructure by 2030, and will open applications for subsidies under the bill next week.
The government will start the funding application process next week, focusing on manufacturing facilities, and will provide additional financing opportunities for companies in the supply chain and for R&D related investments in the coming months, Raimondo said in his presentation.
It is well known that Biden signed into law the CHIPS Act last August, providing $52 billion (including $39 billion in manufacturing incentives and $13.2 billion in research and development and workforce development) to support America’s domestic chip R&D and manufacturing industry.
“America’s reliance on foreign supply chains must be addressed, even though the cost of manufacturing chips in the US is 30 per cent higher.” Raimondo repeatedly reiterates why American semiconductors need to go local: in the 1990s, 37% of the world’s chips were made in the U.S.; today, only 12% are. While the United States today produces almost no state-of-the-art chips, Taiwan produces 92 percent of the world’s advanced chips, and this reliance on a single region for production has created supply chain problems during the pandemic and further national security concerns for the United States.
The US aims to achieve three goals by 2030, Raimondo said. One is to create at least two large semiconductor clusters combining production lines, R&D LABS, closed test plants and upstream suppliers. Each campus will create thousands of high-paying jobs, and the US will be able to design and manufacture the world’s most advanced chips. It did not say where the cluster would be located, but Arizona, Ohio and Texas are among the states with the most potential for “clustering”, according to investment plans by companies such as Intel, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor.
According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), before and after the implementation of the Chip Act, global semiconductor companies have announced more than 40 investment projects in the United States, the total amount of more than $200 billion. Among them, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and Intel have invested 40 billion US dollars each, Samsung is also planning to invest 17.3 billion US dollars in Texas, Micron, Texas Instruments and other companies have also come up with their own investment plans, it can be said that many companies want to get subsidies.
The second goal is for the United States to become a global leader in packaging technology by developing a number of advanced packaging plants that can produce advanced chips economically.
The third is to strategically ramp up production of its current generation of chips and mature process node chips, mainly for important chips used in the automotive, medical and defense industries.
In terms of talent, Raimondo said the U.S. needs to triple the number of college graduates in semiconduction-related fields in order to successfully localize semiconductors. He called for universities to work with the semiconductor industry to ensure graduates have the skills needed for semiconductor jobs, and for semiconductor companies to work with high schools and community colleges. We will cultivate more than 100,000 technicians in the next ten years.
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