US govt allocates $285m for chip-focussed digital twins institute


The funding comes as part of the CHIPS and Science Act, aimed at supporting the nation’s domestic semiconductor industry

This week, the US government has announced that it is seeking proposals from companies to establish and operate a new CHIPS Manufacturing USA institute focused on digital twins for the semiconductor industry.

The government will provide the winning applicant with up to $285 million to help establish the centre, including supporting operational activities, R&D projects, and workforce training.

Digital twin technology – using precise virtual models of physical processes to test and refine them – is becoming increasingly prominent in numerous industries, from the telecoms sector to construction. In the context of semiconductors, the technology is expected to help improve manufacturing, advanced packaging, assembly, and various test processes.

The cloud-based nature of digital twins will also allow for greater opportunities in collaborative design, as well as the incorporation of new technologies like AI to further accelerate R&D. ­

“Digital twin technology can help to spark innovation in research, development, and manufacturing of semiconductors across the country – but only if we invest in America’s understanding and ability of this new technology,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This new Manufacturing USA institute will not only help to make America a leader in developing this new technology for the semiconductor industry, it will also help train the next generation of American workers and researchers to use digital twins for future advances in R&D and production of chips.”

The funding comes as part of the CHIPS and Science Act, which was introduced by the Biden Administration in 2022 and allocates $52.7 billion in public funding to the development of the US’s domestic semiconductor industry.

So far, much of this funding has been delivered as subsidies for companies seeking to set up chip manufacturing plans on US soil. These include not only US companies like Intel, which received $8.5 billion for commercial semiconductor projects earlier this year, but also the likes of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which received $6.6 billion to build a third semiconductor fab in Phoenix, Arizona.

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