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Second Phase of CHIPS Act Funding Begins

Businesses “that provide tools, chemicals and other supplies for the semiconductor industry” may now apply for a piece of the funds set aside in last year’s CHIPS and Science Act, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

What’s going on: Late last week, the Biden administration announced broadened eligibility for companies capable of using federal subsidies to increase chip production in the U.S.

  • Last year’s legislation, which the NAM championed, earmarked $39 billion for the purpose.
  • In February, the Commerce Department’s CHIPS Program Office began “accept[ing] applications for the construction, expansion, or modernization of semiconductor materials and manufacturing equipment facilities for which the total capital investment equals or exceeds $300 million,” according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is part of Commerce.

Why it’s important: “‘We can have as many fabs [chip plants] as we want, but the reality is, we also need the supply chain—the chemicals, the material, the tools that go into those fabs,’ Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said at a briefing,” according to the Journal.

Lots of interest: Nearly 400 businesses across 37 states have signaled their interest in receiving funds under this latest phase.

  • “The department is already accepting full applications for the C[HIPS] Act funding from companies with plans to build facilities for leading-edge semiconductors, and will soon accept submissions from companies that plan to build chips that are currently state-of-the-art or older.”
  • Suppliers may begin submitting applications this fall, but the administration has not yet said when the funds will be disbursed.
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