May 28, 2024


The Biden administration is looking for proposals from companies that can establish and operate an institution that will develop “digital twins” of semiconductors, with the opportunity to receive up to $285 million in funding.

The CHIPS Manufacturing USA institute will focus on digital twins, or virtual models, of semiconductors, which have the same structure, make-up, and behavior of a physical chip, making it easier to simulate how a chip might work in different scenarios before going into production. The institute will focus on the development, testing, and use of digital twins for chip manufacturing, advanced packaging, chip assembly, and testing.

Digital twins can exist in the cloud, therefore allowing for more collaboration between engineers and researchers across the U.S., the Biden administration said. This will provide opportunities for faster innovation and reduce research and development costs, it added.

“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,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement, adding that the new 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.”

Digital twin technology can also be integrated with artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies to boost the pace of chip development and manufacturing in the U.S., the Biden administration said. The $285 million allocation from the CHIPS and Science Act will support research to develop digital twins, establishing physical and digital facilities across the country, and workforce training, among other things. The Biden administration will hold briefings with interested companies this month to discuss funding opportunities.

“Digital twin technology will help transform the semiconductor industry,” Laurie Locascio, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), said. “This historic investment in the CHIPS Manufacturing USA institute will help unite the semiconductor industry to unlock the enormous potential of digital twin technology for breakthrough discoveries.”

The Chips Act was established by the Biden administration in 2022 as part of an effort to advance U.S. chipmaking amid a booming AI industry and competition with China. Semiconductor pioneer Intel and other major chipmakers including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Samsung have received billions in Chips Act funding so far.



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