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September 24, 2022 3:30 pm

National News

Companies Increase Investment as Biden Signs Law Boosting US Semiconductor Industry

Credit: iStock

Oliver Willis

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed the CHIPS and Science Act, which will utilize $280 billion to increase American competitiveness in science and technology, especially against China.

The legislation allocates $52 billion to boost U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturing. Before Biden signed the bill into law, the companies Micron Technology and Qualcomm announced a combined total of more than $40 billion in investments in domestic chip manufacturing, specifically citing grants and funding provided by the new law.

At the bill signing, Biden referred to the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the Senate and the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act as evidence “that we met the moment at this inflection point in history.” Biden said: “A moment when we bet on ourselves, believed in ourselves, and recaptured the story, the spirit, and the soul of this nation. We are the United States of America, A singular place of possibilities. I’m now going to go sign the CHIPS and Science Act and once again I promise you: We’re leading the world again for the next decades.”

On Tuesday, Boise, Idaho-based computer memory and storage company Micron Technology announced that it would be investing $40 billion over the next decade in memory manufacturing in the United States.

“With the anticipated grants and credits made possible by the CHIPS and Science Act, this investment will enable the world’s most advanced memory manufacturing in America,” the company noted in a statement. “Micron expects to begin production in the second half of the decade, ramping overall supply in line with industry demand trends.”

Micron described its investment as the “largest in memory manufacturing in U.S. history” and forecast that it would create 40,000 jobs, including 5,000 jobs in technical and operational roles at the company.

“This legislation will enable Micron to grow domestic production of memory from less than 2% to up to 10% of the global market in the next decade,” noted Micron president and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra.

Qualcomm, which is based in San Diego, California, announced on Monday that it would be spending an additional $4.2 billion worth of semiconductor chips from GlobalFoundries, a manufacturer based in New York, more than doubling the previous commitment between the two companies, resulting in a total of $7.4 billion in purchases through 2028.

In a press release announcing the agreement, GlobalFoundries CEO Thomas Caulfield said, “We applaud the bipartisan efforts and leadership demonstrated by Senator [Chuck] Schumer and the incredible support of Commerce Secretary [Gina] Raimondo to bring back chip manufacturing to America.”

The new law will provide subsidies for companies that build domestic semiconductor chip factories.

Billions of dollars in investments in science and technology research will be made through grants administered by multiple U.S. government agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards, and the departments of Energy and Commerce.

This story was written by Oliver Willis, former research fellow at Media Matters for America, where it first appeared.