Biden Administration Pledges $5 Billion to Boost Semiconductor R&D

The money will help restore the U.S. as a world leader in semiconductor production, reducing dependency on foreign suppliers.

The U.S. currently produces less than 10% of the world's supply of semiconductors. Image via Shutterstock.

The Biden-Harris Administration's recently announced a more than $5 billion investment in semiconductor research, development and workforce initiatives, aimed at reinforcing U.S. leadership in the critical technology sector. This move, part of the broader CHIPS and Science Act, seeks to revitalize America's role in semiconductor innovation and manufacturing, addressing both national security concerns and the need for a skilled workforce.

Semiconductors, the cornerstone of modern technology, were once a domain where the U.S. led globally. However, current figures show the U.S. producing less than 10% of the world's supply, including none of the most advanced chips. This investment aims to reverse the trend of declining government R&D investment, which has fallen below 1% of GDP in recent years, by leveraging the CHIPS and Science Act's historic funding provisions.

The National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) is the focal point of this initiative, representing a collaborative effort between government, industry, academia and other stakeholders to foster innovation and accelerate the commercialization of new technologies. The NSTC, supported by a public-private consortium, aims to ensure U.S. supremacy in next-generation semiconductor technologies through design, prototyping and piloting initiatives.

In addition to the NSTC, the investment plan includes significant funding for workforce development. The creation of a Workforce Center of Excellence and other programs aims to establish equitable training pathways, connecting Americans to high-quality jobs in this vital sector. These efforts are complemented by investments in other key R&D areas, such as the development of a semiconductor manufacturing digital twin institute and advancements in semiconductor packaging technologies.

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