Feb 24, 2023 - Technology

Raimondo: New funding will build two chipmaking "clusters"

Gina Raimondo, US secretary of commerce, during an event at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC, on Thursday. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Thursday the Biden administration wants to use the $52 billion CHIPS Act to create two new "clusters" in the U.S. for manufacturing semiconductors.

What's happening: The Commerce Department plans to open applications next week for companies to seek funding under the law, passed last year.

What they're saying: In a speech at Georgetown University, Raimondo said the purpose of the spending was to bolster national security, not pick favorites in the chip business.

  • "Each cluster will include a robust supplier ecosystem, R&D facilities to continuously innovate new process technologies, and specialized infrastructure," Raimondo said. "Each of those clusters will employ thousands of workers in well-paying jobs."

The big picture: The U.S. aims to boost domestic chip manufacturing to boost jobs and protect its supply chain from disruption during international conflict.

  • The spending aims to promote both the most advanced chipmaking, which is dominated by Taiwan and South Korea today, and the production of the kind of older chips that faced a shortage during the COVID pandemic.

Raimondo compared the chip funding effort to the 1960s-era moon-landing program or the development of nuclear power, per the AP.

Go deeper: Chip billions won't be a quick fix

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