US to invest more than $5bn into semiconductor R&D space

The investment is being implemented under the Chips and Science Act, as the country continues its efforts to boost its capabilities in the sector.
The US expects to invest more than $5bn in its semiconductor R&D space, according to an announcement released today (9 February).
The investment, which is being implemented under the Chips and Science Act, will primarily benefit the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), a public-private R&D consortium established to combine and support public and private sectors to “accelerate the pace of new innovations, lower barriers to participation in semiconductor R&D, and directly address fundamental needs for a skilled, diverse semiconductor workforce”.
According to the press release, this investment intends to “advance US leadership in semiconductor R&D, cut down on the time and cost of commercialising new technologies, bolster US national security, and connect and support workers in securing good semiconductor jobs”.
As well as the $5bn investment intended to boost the operational capabilities of the NSTC, the Biden administration also announced plans to invest “at least hundreds of millions of dollars” into the NSTC’s workforce efforts, including the creation of a Workforce Center of Excellence with a presence in multiple regions.
According to the press release, the NSTC will leverage workforce investments to achieve a number of objectives in the areas of education and training, such as piloting initiatives to engage underserved communities.
Going forward
US investment into the semiconductor space has had a strong start this year, following the announcement of an investment totalling $162m into Arizona-headquartered company Microchip Technology last month, as the country continues its efforts to boost its semiconductor industry.
This investment was followed by data indicating that global semiconductor sales appear to be on the rise again, coinciding with the global rush to develop AI technology, which relies heavily on advanced semiconductors. But while the industry is predicted to see further growth this year, challenges remain, such as a global skills shortage. All the while trade tensions continue to persist between the US and its semiconductor rival, China.
Trade tensions escalated greatly between the two countries last year, particularly concerning chip technologies, as the US and its allies believe that China is importing advanced chip technologies from the West crucial to the development of AI, which could be deployed for various military uses. These tensions resulted in US-imposed export restrictions on chips and related technologies to China.
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