US National Science Foundation supports future semiconductor productions with $45.6m

The US National Science Foundation has invested $45.6m to progress new semiconductor technologies and manufacturing methods in support of a domestic supply chain.

A portion of the allocated funding is from the CHIPS and Science Act, and each project will be supported by the NSF Future of Semiconductors (FuSe) programme through a public-private partnership.

Formed of the US National Science Foundation, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, and Samsung, the public-private partnership will help to inform research needs and accelerate technology translation to the market and prepare the future workforce.

In turn, this will help address the growing demand for semiconductors in the US.

Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the US National Science Foundation, said the investment will help train the next generation of talent necessary to fill key openings in the semiconductor industry.

He added, “By supporting novel, transdisciplinary research, we will enable breakthroughs in semiconductors and microelectronics and address the national need for a reliable, secure supply of innovative semiconductor technologies, systems and professionals.”

The US National Science Foundation announced the partnership with Ericsson, IBM, Intel, and Samsung in January 2023, with an aim for supporting the future of semiconductor design and manufacturing.

Since 2022, the US National Science Foundation has announced other semiconductor workforce development opportunities, including a $10m partnership with Micro Technology and a partner with the Semiconductor Research Corporation.

These efforts each support the goals laid out in the CHIPS and Science Act. Signed into law in August 2022, the strategy looks to place the US as a forerunner in the semiconductor market and revitalise domestic manufacturing.

The industrial strategy sets aside funding for new semiconductor programmes, including $39bn for a grant programme available to semiconductor manufacturers as well as equipment and materials suppliers.

Further to the above, the Act also includes $2bn for the legacy chips used in automobiles and defence systems, $13.2bn in R&D and workforce development and $500m to provide for international information communications technology security and semiconductor supply chain activities.

Read more: President Biden signs $52bn CHIPS Act into law

As part of the public-private partnership, Dr. Richard Uhlig, Senior Fellow and Director of Intel Labs at Intel Corporation, said the success of the CHIPS and Science Act hinges on the US’ ability to create a robust and diverse ecosystem of skilled semiconductor talent.

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