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US government launches $1.6bn advanced chip R&D competition

The CHIPS for America program will make awards of around USD 150 million each to promote private sector investment in five research areas.

In an official announcement, the Commerce Department said the money will come via the 2022 Chips and Science Act, and is designed specifically to accelerate the US's expertise in advanced packaging. This refers to the process of incorporating multiple chips and processes into one component.

Traditionally, a semiconductor chip focuses on performing one particular action or process.By combining many semiconductor components into a single package, foundries can cut chip manufacturing costs and reduce power consumption required by applications.

Advanced packaging is in high demand thanks to advances in semiconductor technology powered by the growth of artificial intelligence applications and microelectronics. Currently, this market is dominated by Asian countries, and the US is estimated to control just 3% of the world’s capacity.

The US government outlined its vision for boosting its advanced chip capabilities in the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP), which was unveiled last year. It has already handed out financial incentives to companies such as Intel , SK Hynix, Amkor and Samsung to boost the domestic advanced packaging sector.

With this new announcement the US Commerce Department is targeting five R&D areas:

  • Equipment, tools, processes, and process integration
  • Power delivery and thermal management
  • Connector technology, including photonics and radio frequency (RF)
  • Chiplets ecosystem
  • Co-design/electronic design automation (EDA)

“The National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program will enable a packaging sector within the US that outpaces the world through innovation driven by robust R&D,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director Laurie E. Locascio. “Within a decade, through R&D funded by CHIPS for America, we will create a domestic packaging industry where advanced node chips manufactured in the US and abroad can be packaged within the US  and where innovative designs and architectures are enabled through leading-edge packaging capabilities."

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June 13 2024 1:49 pm V22.4.55-1