CHIPS Act includes telecom funding

The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 was signed into law on August 9, 2022. Although it’s main purpose is to promote semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S., it also includes some telecommunications funding. Let’s have a look.

The acronym writers were hard at work on this legislation. The word “CHIPS” in the title is an acronym for Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors.

At 393 pages, the CHIPS and Science Act covers a lot of ground. We spotted two areas that will be directly relevant to the telecommunications industry:

  1. Wireless supply chain funding. The law provides $1.5 billion to enhance the competitiveness of 5G wireless software, hardware, and microprocessing technology.
  2. Advanced communications research. This instructs the National Institute of Standards and Technology to organize and run a research program on advanced topics and establish a national network of test capabilities and facilities to be known as the National Advanced Spectrum and Communications Test Network (NASCTN). Research topics include artificial intelligence applications in Internet of Things networks and RF interference prevention, quantum communications technologies, network security and public safety, to name a few.

The law includes other technology initiatives, such as quantum computing, cryptography, artificial intelligence, and STEM education that will also benefit the telecom industry.

Since the announcement that this bill passed and would be signed, three companies have announced investments in chip manufacturing:

  1. Micron will invest $40 billion in semiconductor manufacturing through the end of the decade. They expect to create up to 40,000 new jobs.
  2. Qualcomm and Global Foundries announced a partnership to spend $4.2 billion to manufacture chips in upstate New York. Qualcomm said they plan to increase chip production by up to 50% over the next five years.

It will be interesting to see how the funding and research programs unfold in the telecom industry.

chip manufacturing

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