The $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act designed to strengthen US science and technology innovation has officially been signed by President Biden. This is a critical step forward in advancing our national security and military capabilities surrounding microelectronics and home-based semiconductor development. This bill includes $52 billion in subsidies to encourage chip manufacturers to build out semiconductor fabrications plants – referred to as “fabs” – in the US.
The United States must lead the world in the production of these advanced chips – this law will do exactly that,” said President Joe Biden in his national address this morning. “We will invest in America, invent in America, and make it in America.”
With many of the cutting-edge innovators surrounding microelectronics located in America, the passage of this act is crucial in closing the long-standing tradition of outsourcing this production. This announcement will bolster the U.S. microelectronics industrial base and encourage additional manufacturing capabilities and program growth.
“The passage of the Creating Helpful Incentives to Product Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America fund is a vital step in the strengthening of the domestic semiconductor industry,” said Doug Crowe, S2MARTS Director at NSTXL. “A strong semiconductor supply chain is essential for the US military to develop, deploy, and sustain advanced military systems comprised of complex microcircuits. Building and sustaining the domestic base is key to allowing our Warfighters to meet the challenges posed by our peer adversaries.”
Biden’s announcement could not have come at a more critical moment as semiconductors continue to be one of the most important elements in national security. Applying the latest and most comprehensive microelectronics technology to secure defense applications is critical for the continued and future success of our military. Advancing the functionality of microelectronic technology within the U.S. military commercial and defense partnerships has never been more important.
“The pandemic has made us all acutely aware of the microchip shortage due to global supply chain issues, but this has been a matter of national security for years. Can the Department of Defense trust a commercial, off-the-shelf computer? The answer is no,” said VP of Business Development at NSTXL Mike Dodd. “We need to course-correct. We need to get back to the basics and bring more trusted microelectronics production back home. Right now less than 13 percent of microchips are manufactured in America. That needs to change, we need to put the words, “Made in the U.S.A.” into action.”
The announcement of this act gives the U.S. even more resources to change the tides and heavily invest in home-grown microelectronics. By working with OTAs and similar contracting vehicles, the DoD can increase the quality of their technology and take this program even further.
“The Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) has been a key OT in the Department of Defense (DoD) microelectronics technology initiative to allow DoD to have access to the best commercial technologies for military applications with measurable security,” said Crowe. “Via S2MARTS, DoD is partnering with Industry to utilize and protect the latest technologies and have robust on-shore semiconductor capabilities”
When partnering with the same innovators leading microelectronic development on the commercial side, the DoD can ensure the same type of secure reliability in our military’s technology. In 2021, the highly anticipated RAMP-C project was awarded to two performers, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Intel Technologies through S2MARTS. Upon completion of this award, the DoD will fund a U.S.-based, leading-edge commercial fabrication facility and further support domestic development of chip-related design and intellectual property.
“Made in the U.S.A. isn’t just a slogan—it’s a matter of survival. We can’t have the greatest military in the world if some of our most important technology components are Made in China,” said Dodd.
NSTXL is focused on building a network of innovators and creators across the most sought-after emerging technology fields. Within the platform, NSTXL supports three OTA’s including the Strategic & Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS), the Training and Readiness Accelerator (TReX), and the newly awarded Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC). Join the mission today.