The U.S. Department of Commerce issued two notices of intent today concerning the distribution of the $11 billion R&D money from the CHIPS Act. $300 million is to be made available across multiple awards of up to $100 million (not including voluntary co-investment) for research on advanced packaging, while another $200 million or more is set aside to create the CHIPS Manufacturing USA Institute. Companies will have to compete for the funds by filing an application.
Although the CHIPS Act has $52 billion of funding behind it, it's largely divided into two categories: $39 billion goes directly towards fab construction, while the remaining $11 billion is to be spent on R&D. The two notices of intent take at least a combined $500 million out of the $11 billion R&D budget. That's just 4% of the R&D funds and just under 1% of all CHIPS Act funding, though those values could go up as the $200 million for the CHIPS Manufacturing USA Institute is a minimum amount.
To be clear, a notice of intent isn't legally binding and is simply a declaration that the Department of Commerce plans to make the funds available. According to the notices, the competitions will be announced via a notice of funding opportunity; the competition for the advanced packaging awards will be announced by March, while the CHIPS Manufacturing USA Institute competition will happen in the first half of the year.
We spoke to a policy expert from the Department of Commerce, who explained that these notices, though not a legal commitment, exist to give potential applicants time to prepare to apply. This is especially important for the CHIPS Manufacturing USA Institute competition, which envisions partnerships applying instead of individual organizations. These partnerships won't just include private corporations but also academic institutions, federal labs, and local- to state-level government per the notice of intent. That's consistent with other Manufacturing USA institutions, so there are no big surprises.
Interestingly, the CHIPS Act permitted the creation of up to three Manufacturing USA institutes, but just one will be founded. According to the policy expert, funding is a key motivation for focusing on a single institute. Normally, $75 million goes into creating a Manufacturing USA institution, but with $200 million set aside for this part of the CHIPS Act, one single institute can be backed by a much higher budget than normal. Additionally, the sole CHIPS Manufacturing USA Institute can enjoy the advantages of centralization, making its semiconductor simulation models much better.
Unfortunately, we couldn't get clear details on the companies and organizations who might win the funds from either the $300 million in packaging or the $200 million for the CHIPS Manufacturing USA Institute. It is too early to tell, especially as the application window isn't yet open.
The Commerce policy expert implied that 2024 would see many more of these sorts of announcements.
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Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.
William Randolph Hearst Sr. was an American businessman, newspaper publisher, and politician known for developing the nation's largest newspaper chain and media company, Hearst Communications.Reply
He became filthy rich off how he said to package something.
Put a baby, a puppy, or a pretty girl on the cover and I can sell anything. He died in the 1950's but today his grand daughter is worth 21 billion in 2024.
Put a CPU in a plactic case. Put that case in a box and seal. Ship and get paid.
Now where do I sign up for the $500 million.
I think a bunch of money should go towards trade schools to train the people you need for chip manufacturing. Am I right to assume, a lot of jobs in chip manufacturing don't require engineering degrees.Reply
You simply hire the people and train them directly. Either by sending them to existing facilities to learn or bringing in people from existing facilities to train. No need to invest in trade school curriculum for such a specialized workflow. If they start encountering worker shortages in the future, then it may make some sense to have a preliminary class that guarantees work placement.gg83 said:I think a bunch of money should go towards trade schools to train the people you need for chip manufacturing. Am I right to assume, a lot of jobs in chip manufacturing don't require engineering degrees.
I wonder what are the prerequisites to apply for such a position? Bachelor's? High school diploma?Eximo said:You simply hire the people and train them directly. Either by sending them to existing facilities to learn or bringing in people from existing facilities to train. No need to invest in trade school curriculum for such a specialized workflow. If they start encountering worker shortages in the future, then it may make some sense to have a preliminary class that guarantees work placement.
Depends on the job. Going to need cleaning personnel, both inside and outside the production floor, warehouse workers to move chemicals and raw materials around, etc. But all the higher end jobs will have their specialization like industrial control and automation, statistical analysis people for monitoring output and predicting yields. Practically an endless list of job opportunities at an advanced manufacturing facility.Reply
In the US, GED or High School diploma is pretty much expected though for most jobs. That or significant work experience (usually means some sort of family connection job)
I used to work for a multinational manufacturing company, every possible educational status was employed directly or through contract services.