The Biden administration has recently announced a $5 billion investment in a newly established public-private consortium focused on advancing research and development in computer chips. This initiative comes as part of the CHIPS and Science Act, a new law passed in 2022 aimed at revitalizing the computer-chip sector in the United States by providing targeted government support of tens of billions of dollars.
To discuss the priorities of the National Semiconductor Technology Center, which will be funded through this act, stakeholders from the chips industry convened at the White House. The discussions centered around research advancements and worker training, as the industry is expected to expand with robust government backing. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the economic and national security risks associated with overdependence on Taiwan for advanced chips. Additionally, the growing prevalence of artificial intelligence is expected to drive demand for more innovative and efficient chips.
Highlighting the significance of this investment, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stated, "This is an inflection point in the industry. Not just because we're dangerously dependent on one country for so many of our chips, but because AI is going to lead to an explosion of demand for chips, for sophisticated chips, more energy-efficient chips, cost-effective chips."
The newly established center will play a crucial role in funding the design and prototyping of novel chips, as well as providing training programs for workers in this sector. Companies are emphasizing the need for a skilled workforce to fully capitalize on the additional $39 billion being provided by the government for new and expanded computer-chip plants. Secretary Raimondo confirmed that there will be a steady stream of funding announcements for companies in the next six to twelve weeks.
With the rapid growth expected in this sector, the demand for highly specialized workers is also projected to increase significantly. According to data from the Labor Department, approximately 375,000 individuals are currently employed in the production of computer chips, with an average income of $82,830.
In a bid to enhance the nation's computer-chip capabilities, the Biden administration's investment in advanced research and development is a significant step forward. Through targeted government support and collaboration with the private sector, the U.S. aims to strengthen its position in the global computer-chip industry and mitigate the risks associated with supply chain vulnerabilities.