President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act, earmarking more than $52 billion for semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.
The legislation — CHIPS stands for Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors — totals $280 billion to fund basic and applied research at the government's National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Commerce Department.
“The future is going to be made in America,” Biden said at the White House signing, calling the law “a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself.”
The Biden administration had previously emphasized the legislation is vital to national security, competing with China, and reducing U.S. dependence on Taiwan and South Korea for critical technologies.
The continuous scarcity of chips has foreshadowed a long-term strain across a range of businesses and industries, impacting everything from security products, vehicles, washing machines and video games. Semiconductors are essential to security products by enabling the various equipment to function, interoperate with other communication systems, and augment traditional solutions to include artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) functionalities.
Tuesday’s signing was attended by chief executives of Micron, Intel, Lockheed Martin, HP and Advanced Micro Devices, as well as cabinet officials and car industry and union leaders, the White House said.
In an analysis of the legislation, SIA underscores a $20 billion investment to create a new organization within the National Science Foundation that will be tasked with accelerating “domestic development of national and economic-security critical technologies.”
“This initiative will provide new opportunities for U.S. businesses in this effort to strengthen U.S. leadership in advanced technologies, both through direct grants and research and development partnerships, especially in industries driven by artificial intelligence, biometrics, cybersecurity and robotics.,” writes Jake Parker, senior director of government relations, SIA.
The analysis continues:
Eligible projects will involve an initial list of 10 “Key Technology Focus Areas” established in the bill that can be adjusted annually by TIP. Within this list are many areas of interest within the security industry:
- Artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomy and related advances
- High-performance computing, semiconductors and advanced computer hardware and software
- Quantum information science and technology
- Robotics, automation and advanced manufacturing
- Natural and anthropogenic disaster prevention or mitigation
- Advanced communications technology and immersive technology
- Biotechnology, medical technology, genomics and synthetic biology
- Data storage, data management, distributed ledger technologies and cybersecurity, including biometrics
- Advanced energy and industrial efficiency technologies, such as batteries and advanced nuclear technologies, including but not limited to for the purposes of electric generation (consistent with section 15 of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1874)
- Advanced materials science, including composites 2D materials, other next-generation materials and related manufacturing technologies
Prior to Senate passage earlier this year, the list of key focus areas was amended to include No. 8, an addition strongly supported by SIA and originally proposed by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).