US plans to distribute multi-billion dollar semiconductor awards within the next year

US plans to distribute multi-billion dollar semiconductor awards within the next year
US plans to distribute multi-billion dollar semiconductor awards within the next year

Raimondo, U.S. Commerce Secretary, announced that she intends to make a dozen semiconductor chip finance announcements within the next year.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stated that she plans to make a dozen semiconductor chip financing announcements within the next year, including multibillion-dollar announcements that could radically alter U.S. chip output.

On Monday, she announced the first award: $35 million to a BAE Systems (BAES.L) plant in Hampshire to create chips for fighter jets under the “Chips for America” semiconductor manufacturing and research subsidy program, which Congress passed in August 2022.

“Next year, we’ll get into some of the bigger ones with leading-edge fabs,” Raimondo told reporters. “A year from now, I think we will have made 10 or 12 similar announcements, some of them multi-billion dollar announcements.”

Raimondo stated that the number of awards could be increased. She stated that she wants the percentage of semiconductors produced in the United States to rise from about 12% to closer to 20%—though this is still lower than 40% in 1990—and to have at least two “leading-edge” U.S. manufacturing clusters. She also wants the United States to have cutting-edge memory and packaging production, as well as to “meet the military’s needs for current and mature” chips.

Raimondo stated that the initiative has received over 550 expressions of interest as well as almost 150 pre-applications, full applications, and concept ideas.

She predicted that, given the high level of interest, many corporations would be disappointed.

“We have national security goals, and we need to make our investments to hit those goals, and we’re going to do that,” she said.

Congress has set aside $39 billion for industrial incentives to encourage corporations to build and expand facilities, with awards consisting of a combination of grants, government loans, and loan guarantees.

According to the department, direct funding awards will range between 5% and 15% of project capital expenditures, with overall award amounts normally not exceeding 35% of project capital costs.

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