The U.S. Senate earlier this week approved the CHIPS Act, which includes $52 billion to subsidize domestic semiconductor production. It still has to struggle its way through the bureaucracy (here’s a quick refresher), but clearing the Senate is a huge and important step toward the American chip fabrication industry getting a serious chunk of cash.
Personally, I’m psyched that this may be happening for a few reasons. Yes, yes — supply chain problems and chip shortages have been the bane of everyone’s life for a hot minute, and onshoring some of these fabrication materials, tools, and know-how will go a long way toward making the U.S. less reliant on external manufacturing, and more resilient in general.
That’s all good and well, but let’s be honest: $52 billion isn’t exactly a sachet of coppers and nickels, but chip manufacturing is expensive. The last planned chip factories I can remember are the $19 billion plant Intel is building in Germany and the $20 billion plant the company is building here in the U.S. If that’s the price tag of a factory, the subsidy builds two and a half plants. That means jobs, but it doesn’t exactly turn the U.S. into a chip-fab juggernaut overnight.
Far more than new factories, I’m most excited about the possibility of history repeating itself. Intel’s choice to build a $20 billion chip fabrication facility in Columbus, Ohio, along with the more recent news of the potential cash injection into the industry, could set the stage for a startup ecosystem boost.
Intel’s choice to build a $20 billion chip fabrication facility in Columbus, Ohio, along with the passage of the CHIPS Act, could set the stage for a startup ecosystem boost. Policy, Startups, Venture Capital, aerospace, bell labs, california, chip design, Chips Act, Columbus, EC Manufacturing and Supply Chain, EC venture capital, Fairchild Semiconductor, Federal government, Frederick Terman, harvard, Intel, Lockheed Martin, manufacturing, Ohio, Private Equity, san francisco bay area, semiconductor, semiconductors, senate, Silicon Valley, Stanford University, Startup company, U.S. Senate, United States, venrock, venture capitalTechCrunch