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U.S. Congress passes CHIPS+ Act

Boost for U.S semiconductor industry
U.S. Congress passes CHIPS+ Act

It is hoped that the bill will pass before the summer recess. Source: Pixabay

The U.S Congress has voted in favour of a bill which includes measures to provide $52 billion dollars to the country‘s semiconductor industry to boost the domestic manufacturing of chips. The legislation, known as the CHIPS+ or the Chips and Science Act, is aimed at strengthening U.S science and technology innovation, but also addresses concerns that the country is too reliant on Asian manufacturers of chips. After months of revisions, the bill passed the Senate on 27 July and was approved by the House of Representatives on 28 July in a vote of 243-187. It will now be passed on to President Joe Biden to sign into law.

In addition to billons of dollars of subsidies, the legislative measures include the provision of billions of dollars worth of tax incentives to chipmakers to encourage them to build semiconductor fabrication plants or ‘fabs’ in the United States rather than elsewhere. In January 2022, Intel revealed plans to build $20 billion chip plant near Columbus, Ohio but postponed its ceremonial address at the site in July while it waited for Congress to pass the CHIPS Act.

The U.S. currently accounts for 12% of global semiconductor manufacturing; in 1990, its share was 37%. Speaking on 26 July in a meeting with CEOs and Labor Leaders on the importance of passing the bill, President Biden said, “America invented the semiconductor. It’s time to bring it home.”

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