US to fund digital twin research in semiconductors

The Biden administration wants to attract companies working on digital twins for semiconductors using funding from the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act and the creation of a chip manufacturing institute. 

The CHIPS Manufacturing USA institute aims to establish regional networks to share resources with companies developing and manufacturing both physical semiconductors and digital twins. 

Digital twins, virtual representations of physical chips that mimic the real version, make it easier to simulate how a chip might react to a boost in power or a different data configuration. This helps researchers test out new processors before putting them into production. 

“Digital twin technology can help to spark innovation in research, development, and manufacturing of semiconductors across the country — but only if we invest in America’s understanding and ability of this new technology,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo says in a press release.

Digital twin research showed it can integrate with other emerging technologies like generative AI to accelerate simulation or further studies into new semiconductor concepts. 

Officials of the Biden administration says it will hold briefings with interested parties this month to talk about the funding opportunities. The government will fund the operational activities of the institute, research around digital twins, physical and digital facilities like access to cloud environments, and workforce training. 

The CHIPS Act passed in 2022 to boost semiconductor manufacturing in the country, but has struggled to keep up with the capital demand. Raimondo previously said manufacturers requested more than $70 billion in grants, more than the $28 billion the government budgeted in investments. 

So far, companies like Intel and Micron are set to receive funding from the US government through the CHIPS Act. Part of the Biden’s administration goal with the CHIPS Act is to encourage semiconductor companies to build new types of processors in the US, especially now that demand for high-powered chips grew thanks to the AI boom. 

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