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Chip Watch
Macro shot of semiconductor wafer Image: Bloomberg

US to Fund Digital Twin Projects for Chips With $285M

The funding is part of the Chips and Science Act, which includes $11 billion for semiconductor R&D.

(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration is opening applications for $285 million in federal funding to set up an institute focused on digital twin technology for the semiconductor industry, which uses virtual models of components to help reduce development and manufacturing costs.

The funding is part of the 2022 Chips and Science Act, which includes $11 billion for semiconductor research and development. Officials said they anticipate the investment will help the US pivot to more advanced chip technology as it’s developed, limiting reliance on foreign supply chains.

Digital twin technology can leverage artificial intelligence to optimize semiconductor manufacturing, National Institute of Standards and Technology Director Laurie Locascio said on a call with reporters.

The Commerce Department has provided almost $33 billion in preliminary grants to chipmakers to build or expand sites, known as fabs, in the US. Now, the Biden administration is starting to unlock research initiatives.

Fab investments are “how we win today,” said Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Arati Prabhakar. “Chips R&D is how we win the future.”

Digital twinning can reduce costs by improving capacity planning, production optimization, facility upgrades and provide real-time process adjustments, Locascio said.

Project details will depend on applications received by a Sept. 9 deadline, a senior administration official said. Awards are limited to institutions that are incorporated and have their principal place of business in the US.

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