A total of $52 billion in tax credits and cash, including $39 billion expressly designated for semiconductor manufacturing incentives, were made available when President Joseph Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law in 2022. We’re starting to see how that endeavour will pan out: The Biden Administration has formally published the inaugural CHIPS for America financing opportunity, outlining the application process for “projects to build, extend, or upgrade commercial facilities for the manufacturing of cutting-edge, current-generation, and mature-node semiconductors.”
The important word here is “first” in “first financial opportunity”: At the outset, CHIPS for America is looking to fund projects that align with the program’s “vision for success,” which includes establishing a number of cutting-edge logic fabrication facilities and DRAM chip manufacturers by the end of the decade, as well as meeting specific production capacity goals for “current-generation and mature-node” semiconductors. At a later stage, the programme intends to provide further financing possibilities for R&D and production equipment facilities. Applications for those programmes won’t debut until late Spring and Autumn of 2023, but the CHIPS Program Office is open to accepting expressions of interest from prospective candidates.
Strict guidelines for how funds is used are also included in the programme. Applicants that get CHIPS money will be restricted from utilising the funds for stock buybacks or dividend payments, and payments will be connected to achievement of particular objectives. Though prospective projects can start submitting applications on March 31, 2023, it will be some time before the first CHIPS grant beneficiaries are revealed.