The US government plans to invest more than $5 billion in a National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC).

The public-private research and development effort is being funded through the CHIPS and Science Act. As part of the act, the government is separately providing $39bn to help fund chip fab developments in the US.

It also plans to spend $3bn on an advanced packaging initiative.

The US government has a plan to fund chip R&D – Sebastian Moss

Leaders from the Departments of Commerce, Defense, and Energy joined those from the National Science Foundation and the chief executive officer of the National Center for the Advancement of Semiconductor Technology (Natcast) to announce the new technology center.

“Our first priority is to build a community whose members will help define the strategy and investments core to the semiconductor R&D ecosystem,” said Deirdre Hanford, CEO of Natcast, the nonprofit operator of the NSTC.

“The NSTC represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish a new, long-lasting institution that can serve as an engine of innovation to benefit our nation's national and economic security for decades to come.”

The consortium aims to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into workforce development and will offer grants for semiconductor research. A location for the NSTC headquarters has not yet been chosen.

“They’re investing quite a few dollars on chip design and chip manufacturing in China right now, as our main competitor," Commerce Undersecretary for Standards and Technology Dr Laurie E. Locascio told Bloomberg.

“We are clearly thinking very, very hard about how we put up the right guardrails within our funding opportunities — how we protect IP, how we develop research security programs.”

More than a year and a half after the $53bn CHIPS and Science Act was signed into law, less than half a percent of its funding has been spent. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Intel's Ohio fab development was behind schedule partially due to a lack of CHIPS funds.

At the NSTC launch event, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that there will be a “drumbeat of even bigger announcements” in the next six to 12 weeks as funds start to be dispersed.