The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology presented several recommendations focused on how to support and foster a strong domestic semiconductor industry within the U.S., following the passage of the Semiconductor and CHIPS Science Act in August.
Speaking in a public session, members of the PCAST introduced investigative findings that can help support a strong manufacturing economy to spur both revenue growth and global leadership in the semiconductor market.
“We’ve been…really looking at the key points of the CHIPS Act, particularly as it relates to the research and development investment,” PCAST member Lisa Su said. “So the purpose of our report is to really focus on ‘how do we revitalize the semiconductor ecosystem in the face of significant global competition?’”
The ten recommendations released today are broadly tailored toward implementing the National Semiconductor Technology Center, as stipulated in the CHIPS Act, as well as cultivating steady workforce talent for sustainable market sector growth.
The CHIPS and Science Act will allocate a total of $11 billion in government funding to help grow a sustainable domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research industry in the U.S.
Su introduced the first five recommendations, including building a coalition of public-private partnerships, developing a workforce specializing in microelectronics, reducing startup business barriers to entry, setting a national semiconductor research agenda, and supporting immigration related to semiconductor-based employment.
Fellow PCAST working group member Bill Dally introduced the second half of recommendations, which advocate for the creation of chiplet devices—tiny processing units that can be combined to form a more complex system—at the forthcoming NSTC.
Dally said that the chiplet priority will help smaller businesses participate in the U.S.’s burgeoning semiconductor industry.
The recommendations also direct the Department of Commerce to allocate over $500 million in federal funding to NSTC and further delegate 30% to 50% of this money to research, incorporating research challenges into NSTC’s initiatives. The NSTC would then have to publish investment figures and evaluate performance metrics.
Some of the research areas the working group want the NSTC to focus on are supercomputing, advanced logic and memory processing, and life sciences applications and use cases.
Su and Dally also emphasized the importance of public and private organizations collaborating on research and development projects.
Su said that cultivating a strong accompanying workforce is critical to a sustainable semiconductor industry and a high priority within internal PCAST discussions.
These recommendations follow a letter sent by PCAST members to President Biden in August, previewing the recommendations announced today. Su commented that the report builds out more detail into the initial bullet points included in the letter.
“I think we’re very excited about the broad coalition for the NSTC,” she said. “I think the opportunity there is to have a very geographically diverse…experience across both the entire semiconductor ecosystem.”