Biden Funds Virtual Semiconductor Modeling Hub

In this post:

  • $285M for digital twin chip institute.
  • Virtual models for faster chip innovation.
  • CHIPS Act funding to compete with China.

The administration of Biden wants proposals from companies that can set up and operate an institution capable of devising the “digital twin” of semiconductors, which is funded up to $285 million.

Digital twin tech breakthrough

The CHIPS Manufacturing USA institute will focus on digital twins, better known as virtual models, of semiconductors. These chips have the same structure, makeup, and behavior as a physical chip, making it much easier to simulate how a chip might work in different scenarios before going into production.

 According to the Biden administration, the institute will focus on developing, testing, and using digital twins for chip manufacturing, advanced packaging, chip assembly, and testing. It added that digital twins can exist in the cloud, enabling more collaborative works involving engineers and researchers from across the U.S. This will mean faster innovation and less cost to research and development.

In a statement, Gina Raimondo, secretary of commerce, stated that digital twin technology could help spark innovation in research, development, and manufacturing of semiconductors across the country, but only if America invests in understanding and ability for this new technology. According to the secretary, the new institute will make America a leader in developing this new technology for the semiconductor industry and, at the same time, help train the next generation of American workers and researchers on using digital twins for future advances in R&D and production of chips.

Boosting U.S. chip competitiveness

The company said this could also mesh with artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies to bolster the pace of chip development and manufacturing in the U.S. Of course, the $285 million authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act will, in large part, support research in developing those digital twins, construction of physical and digital facilities across the country, and workforce training, among other things. 

The Biden administration will hold informational sessions for interested companies regarding funding opportunities this month. Laurie Locascio said Digital twin technology will help revolutionize the semiconductor industry, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This historic investment in the CHIPS Manufacturing USA institute will bring the semiconductor industry together and unlock the enormous potential of digital twin technology in making breakthrough discoveries.

The Chips Act, written by the Biden administration in 2022, was to be a multi-billion dollar investment in U.S. chipmaking in a time of a booming AI industry and against China’s competition. Chip pioneer Intel and other big foundry firms, like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Samsung, have received billions in Chips Act funding.

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