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US to provide $285M grant to set up institute for ‘Digital twins’ tech for chip industry

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Close-up of Silicon Die are being Extracted from Semiconductor Wafer and Attached to Substrate by Pick and Place Machine. Computer Chip Manufacturing at Fab. Semiconductor Packaging Process.

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The U.S. government is seeking applications for up to $285M in federal funding to establish a CHIPS Manufacturing USA institute focused on digital twins for the semiconductor industry.

Digital twins are virtual models that mimic the structure, context, and behavior of a physical counterpart, the U.S. Department of Commerce said in a press release on Monday.

The virtual models would help cut down development and manufacturing costs.

“CHIPS R&D is about making sure American manufacturers can continue to succeed and thrive. Digital twin technology can accelerate the costly and time-consuming work to develop the next generation of robust manufacturing for this extraordinarily complicated product,” said Arati Prabhakar, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The funding is part of the 2022 Chips and Science Act, which consists of $11B for semiconductor research and development.

Digital twin-based research can also use technology such as artificial intelligence, or AI, to help accelerate the design of new U.S. chip development and manufacturing concepts and significantly reduce costs by improving capacity planning, production optimization, facility upgrades, and real-time process adjustments, according to the agency.

Under the CHIPS Act — which aims to increase U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and research, especially in advanced semiconductors — several companies have inked preliminary agreements with the U.S. Department of Commerce to get funds.

Intel (INTC) was awarded nearly $20B in grants and loans, award Micron Technology (MU) with $6.1B in grants, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM) with up to $11.6B in grants and loans, Samsung Electronics (OTCPK:SSNLF) with up to $6.4B in grants.

The new funding is aimed at boosting research initiatives.

The deadline for applications is Sept. 9 and the grants would be only for institutions which are incorporated and have their principal place of business in the U.S., according to a report by Bloomberg News.

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