Chipmakers turn ruthless in fight for share of federal money

Chipmakers turn ruthless in fight for share of federal money

Chipmakers turn ruthless in fight for share of federal money

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Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters on Wednesday the goal was to create “at least two” new hubs of advanced chip manufacturing capacity, in addition to facilities producing other types of semiconductors. Each cluster would employ thousands of workers and support a network of companies supplying the raw materials and services they need.


“We have very clear national security objectives, which we must achieve,” Raimondo said, noting that not all chipmakers will get what they want. “I suspect there will be many disappointed companies who feel they should have some money, and the reality is that the return on our investment here is achieving our national security goal. Period.”

The competition has intensified as the Biden administration prepares to release ground rules for nominations next week. The grants, which can be up to $3 billion or more per project, could start rolling out this spring.

Executives say huge spending by governments in South Korea, Taiwan, China and elsewhere has helped shape the global chip industry. And the current political push from the United States could change the market again, giving some companies advantages that put them ahead of their competitors.

Most chip companies, in publicly discussing the subsidies, emphasized the common goal of bolstering US production. But clear differences between them emerged. Many are described in the more than 200 filings that companies, organizations, universities and others submitted to the Commerce Department last March.

Beyond touting their own manufacturing plans, some applicants argued that rival projects deserved less funding or should face strict limits on how they operated, though few companies mentioned their competitors by name.

Intel, along with other U.S.-based companies like GlobalFoundries and SkyWater Technology, have expressed concerns about foreign companies, including whether their U.S. factories could continue to operate in the event of a crisis in their home country.


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