The Biden administration plans $285 million in CHIPS Act funding for digital twins

President Joe Biden's administration wants to fund efforts that improve semiconductor manufacturing using digital twins.

Digital twins are virtual models used to test and optimize physical objects and systems. For example, car manufacturers want to use the digital twins of their factories to experiment with new production processes without disrupting production.

The Biden administration has announced it will accept applications for an expected total of $285 million in funding for work that includes research into developing digital twin semiconductors, building and supporting combined physical/digital facilities, industry demonstration projects, training of personnel and operations. from what it says will be a new CHIPS Manufacturing USA Institute.

At a press conference Sunday, Undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Laurie E. Locascio said digital twins can reduce chip development and manufacturing costs, while also enabling more collaborative processes around chip design and development .

“Currently, no country has invested at the scale needed or successfully united the industry to unlock the enormous potential of digital twin technology for breakthrough discoveries,” Locascio said.

This funding is part of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, a $280 billion bill that included $52.7 billion to increase domestic semiconductor manufacturing. At the time, President Biden noted that the United States had gone from producing 40 percent of the world's semiconductors to less than 10 percent.

Following on from another important theme in the government's rhetoricAssistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Arati Prabhakar said Sunday that when the CHIPS Act was passed, semiconductor manufacturing was “dangerously concentrated in just one part of the world” (presumably referring to China).

There will be an informative webinar about applications on May 8. Organizations that can apply include nonprofits, universities, governments, and for-profit companies that are “domestic entities” (incorporated in the United States, with their principal place of business here).

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