Congress passed the CHIPS Act and withstood last-minute opposition

The CHIPS Act finally received funding in 2020 after initial approval. It now goes to President Biden’s desk for final signature.

Austin, Texas – Editor’s note: The video above is from a previous report on Chips Law.

After 18 months, Congress Passed the Chips Lawand sent it to President Joe Biden for final signature.

particle for direct object 243-187 votes With 24 House Republicans joining with Democrats to pass the law, it had bipartisan support. On Wednesday, the Senate passed the bill with bipartisan support, 64 to 33. After Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced his support for the climate and tax bill, a late-night push by House Republican leadership to oppose the bill threatened its passage.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Austin) said: “There is no reason for the @HouseGOP to support the CHIPS Act – either on merit or after this ridiculous compromise package that cost billions.” twitter Wednesday night.

The bill provides billions of dollars for manufacturing and innovation and encourages companies to bring their manufacturing facilities back to the United States.

A total of $39 billion in incentives will be available in Austin for chipmakers such as Samsung, NXP and Infineon. An additional $13 billion will be earmarked for innovation and research. Political leaders tout this bill as an investment in America’s future economy. Industry leaders say the push is necessary to help U.S. semiconductor independence.

Semiconductor chips are found in most modern technology, from telephones to fighter jets to checkout machines at grocery stores.

“It’s the brains behind things, but it’s also the power,” said Steve James, vice president of Infineon’s Fab 25 in Austin. “It’s a sensor that reads the temperature or the humidity or the pressure or whatever they’re driving, the displays that we’re looking at. They’re driving the motors that move things around, the electric motor. So anything that moves electricity around for both. For information and, you know, for power, for sensors. It all comes through semiconductors.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) led the push for the CHIPS Act and passed it in December 2020, then celebrated passage of the budget on Wednesday in the Senate. The $52 billion comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce, and companies can apply for funding after the bill is signed into law.

“You know, these are $15 billion to $20 billion facilities, the total investment to make computer chips from Ohio to Dallas to Arizona to Oregon to Austin,” said Rob Miso, who started in the semiconductor industry in 1991. ” “A lot of key plants are being built in the U.S. today that historically would probably have been built in Asia or somewhere less expensive. And I think our politicians have done that.”

Since the 1990s, Taiwan and China in particular have invested heavily in semiconductor production. At the time, the United States produced 38 percent of the world’s chips. Currently, the United States produces only about 12 percent of the world’s chips.

“Less than 5 percent of the chips that pass through our labs are made in the United States,” said Mark Pollard, CEO of Astute Electronics.

Related: With no short-term solution to the chip shortage, distribution companies are offering a solution

Astute Electronics distributes surplus chips from companies to those who need them. Pollard employees check the quality of the chips before they are delivered to other companies.

“We kind of police it, a safety net for our customers in addition to giving them the parts they need to manufacture,” Pollard said.

Industry experts like Pollard say the investment is a great start but must continue to catch up to production in Taiwan and China. Taiwan produces 90% of the world’s advanced semiconductor chips, providing the most advanced technologies. China makes up the rest. The US makes none.

“I believe the current package, the current plan is just to keep us where we are today,” Pollard said. The net effect of the dollars going into this infrastructure is likely to keep us in the same place.

What the US has lacked in manufacturing, it has always been a leader in semiconductor innovation. The “modern semiconductor” was first developed about 50 years ago by Texas Instruments in the Dallas area. Since then, companies with roots in the US have led the development of newer and better chips before production ramps up around the world at lower cost.

“Texas really started the whole revolution,” said Dr. Sanjay Banerjee, a researcher at the University of Texas who began his semiconductor career at Texas Instruments. “Central Texas has played a major role in semiconductor chip manufacturing over the years. We used to have companies like Motorola, AMD. And now we have Samsung, NXP.”

AMD still has some possibilities up its sleeve, but it is more focused on design than chip production. Motorola eventually became NXP.

We believe this important rule will have a significant positive impact on supply chain security, particularly to the extent that it is used to support the development of capacity in legacy, feature-rich semiconductor nodes that are critical to U.S. industry and national security. be.” NXP announced in a statement.

While Texas politicians led the fight for the CHIPS Act, only two House Republicans from Texas sponsored the bill, Rep. Michael McCall (R-Austin) and Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth).

The bill now heads to President Biden’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law.

In a statement, the president said: “I look forward to signing this bill into law and growing our economy from the bottom up and to the middle for working families across the country.”

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