CHIPS Act funding application process to begin March 31

Feb. 28, 2023
The first of three funding opportunities will target projects to construct, expand, or modernize commercial facilities for the production of “leading-edge, current-generation, and mature-node” semiconductors.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) said today that it will soon accept applications for funding set aside by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. Applications for the first of three funding opportunities, which will target projects to construct, expand, or modernize commercial facilities for the production of “leading-edge, current-generation, and mature-node” semiconductors, will be accepted beginning March 31, 2023. Front-end wafer fabrication and back-end packaging projects are included in this initial opportunity as well.

The application process for the first funding allotment will be split into three parts. Pre-applications (which are optional) and full applications for projects that focus on leading-edge facilities will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning March 31. Pre-applications (which, in this case, the Commerce Department recommends) for current-generation, mature-node, and back-end production facilities will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning May 1, and full applications for these categories will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning June 26.

Details of the application process, as well as supplementary information, are available on the NIST website.

Subsequent calls for applications will include one for semiconductor materials and equipment facilities in late spring of this year, and another this fall for research and development facilities.

About the CHIPS Act

The CHIPS Act created $52.7 billion in funding to beef up the U.S. semiconductor industry, including $39 billion in semiconductor-related incentives, $13.2 billion for R&D and workforce development, and $500 million to strengthen global supply chains. The resultant awards can be direct funding, federal loans, and/or federal guarantees of third-party loans. The Commerce Department stressed that such awards are designed to complement rather than replace private investment and other funding sources. “[A]pplicants are strongly encouraged to bring capital to the table,” the Commerce Department advised via a press release, adding that the awards will be made “as soon as applications can be rigorously evaluated and negotiated.”

“The CHIPS and Science Act presents a historic opportunity to unleash the next generation of American innovation, protect our national security, and preserve our global economic competitiveness,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “When we have finished implementing CHIPS for America, we will be the premier destination in the world where new leading-edge chip architectures can be invented in our research labs, designed for every end-use application, manufactured at scale, and packaged with the most advanced technologies. Throughout our work, we are committed to protecting taxpayer dollars, strengthening America’s workforce, and giving America’s businesses a platform to do what they do best: innovate, scale, and compete.”

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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