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Chip Act Vote Scheduled in Senate This Week to Provide Subsidies to Fabs

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A long-running effort to provide $52 billion in subsidies to domestic chip makers faces a final vote in the Senate this week. The bill also includes tens of billions of dollars for the National Science Foundation and local tech startups.

Semiconductor companies and universities are already vying for some of the funding, an early sign that competition is likely to be fierce if the bill is enacted.

After months of debate and setbacks, the bill, similar to the original form of legislation aimed at making the United States more competitive with China, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, passed the Senate last year. It ran aground in the House of Commons.

Buying a car is difficult these days given the array of difficulties facing the automotive business. The problem stems from the worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips. (Video: Lee Powell/Washington Post)

The Senate is scheduled to hold a closing vote on the new legislation on Monday. If you get the 60 votes needed to clear that bar, you’ll move on to the final vote by Tuesday or Wednesday. The debate then moves to the House of Commons.

Most of the $52 billion will go to chip makers to encourage the construction of domestic factories to produce the components, the brains that power all modern electronic devices.

A global shortage of small parts has hampered manufacturing of all kinds, forcing automakers to cut production and driving up the prices of cars and other commodities.

Countries around the world are rushing to ramp up production of the components by providing subsidies to manufacturers to build factories that cost billions of dollars to build.

The bill includes nearly $100 billion over five years, including expanding the operations of the National Science Foundation and establishing regional technology hubs to support start-ups in regions that have not previously attracted significant funding for technology. It also includes an endorsement for the program of

The NSF will receive funding for a new technology directorate that will help transform fundamental research breakthroughs into real-world applications in areas such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

“Our colleges are very structured around getting NSF grants and publishing. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), chairman of the transportation committee, told The Washington Post. The new funding is intended to help the U.S. rapidly translate its science into applications and domestic manufacturing, she said.

Chip-making giants such as Intel and TSMC have already said they expect to receive some of the U.S. semiconductor subsidies to help fund factory-building projects in Ohio and Arizona. I’m here. GlobalFoundries, another major chip maker, also wants a portion of the funding to help expand its factory in upstate New York.

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Last week, Minnesota-based chip maker SkyWater Technology and Purdue University secured part of the funding to finance a new $1.8 billion factory and research facility next to the university in West Lafayette, Indiana. He said he plans to help.

SkyWater CEO Thomas Sonderman said in an interview that the broad plan is to fund two-thirds of the plant with federal and Indiana funding, with the rest coming from SkyWater and its chip customers. .

The facility will most likely produce chips for the auto industry, medical device manufacturers, aerospace customers and the Department of Defense, he said.

Purdue University Dean Mitch Daniel, who announced the plan at an event last week, said the project will make the university “a more vibrant and engaging environment, attracting the world’s brightest and brightest to come here to study and teach.” , to study and to want to live,” he said.

IBM, the State University of New York at Albany, and other partners are also lobbying for funding to establish a semiconductor research center in Albany. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) supports the effort.

IBM plans to send nearly 60 senior executives to Washington, D.C. this week to ask members of Congress to pass legislation, spokesman Sean Higgins said Friday.

Mukesh Khare, vice president of hybrid cloud at IBM Research, said in a statement, “Congress is poised to reinvigorate American leadership and innovation in key areas of technology while creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create high-paying tech jobs across the country. have the opportunity