NIST Releases Summary of RFI Responses for Semiconductor-Related Manufacturing USA Institutes
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a summary of public comments solicited to inform the design of, and requirements for, potential Manufacturing USA institute(s) that would strengthen the semiconductor and microelectronics innovation ecosystem in such areas as design, fabrication, advanced test, assembly, and packaging capabilities.
NIST issued a Request for Information in the Federal Register on October 13, 2022, that was open until December 12, 2022. The intent of the RFI was to inform the development and establishment of up to three new Manufacturing USA semiconductor institutes. Today’s report summarizes more than 90 responses, the majority from organizations in the semiconductor sector, in five areas:
1. Institute scope
While the responses did not indicate a clear consensus on what topics new Manufacturing USA institute(s) should address, they did agree that the activities of any new semiconductor-related institute(s) should be carefully coordinated with other CHIPS Research and Development entities, including the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program, the National Semiconductor Technology Center, and the existing Manufacturing USA institutes related to semiconductors.
2. Institute structure and governance
Responders agreed that the existing Manufacturing USA institutes are a good model for a new institute(s) to emulate. The scale of the new institute(s) would need to be broadened to measurably impact the semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem due to the high costs of manufacturing such complex devices.
3. Strategies for driving co-investment and engagement
Responders agreed that the co-investment strategy for the new institute(s) should be structured to encourage participation from the full diversity of stakeholders in the semiconductor ecosystem. Many responders called for shared access to expensive equipment, fabrication facilities, and novel materials, but they did not agree on how to reach that goal.
4. Education and workforce development
Responders agreed that the new institute(s) should support experiential learning opportunities for all educational levels, including primary/secondary students through university and postgraduate students along with incumbent workers, and that such efforts address the priorities of industry.
5. Metrics and success
Responders agreed on the need to track measures to demonstrate the impact of the new Manufacturing USA semiconductor institute(s) on U.S. semiconductor manufacturing ecosystems. Responders also suggested leveraging the best practices of the existing Manufacturing USA institutes and their federal agency sponsors to develop and implement metrics.
You can read the full report at https://doi.org/10.6028/NIST.AMS.600-12.
The CHIPS Research and Development Office is investing in four integrated programs, including the Manufacturing USA institute(s), that will share infrastructure, participants, and projects. They will operate in coordination with each other, with the CHIPS for America incentives program, and with microelectronics R&D programs supported by other U.S. federal agencies to establish a robust R&D ecosystem for the nation’s chipmakers and supply chain. The CHIPS Research and Development Office and the CHIPS Program Office, responsible for semiconductor incentives, sit within NIST at the Department of Commerce. NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. NIST is uniquely positioned to successfully administer the CHIPS for America program because of the bureau’s strong relationships with U.S. industries, its deep understanding of the semiconductor ecosystem, and its reputation as fair and trusted. Visit https://www.chips.gov to learn more.
Manufacturing USA® is a national network created to secure U.S. global leadership in advanced manufacturing through large-scale public-private collaboration on technology, supply chain and education and workforce development. The network comprises the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Energy and Defense, their 17 sponsored manufacturing innovation institutes, and six additional federal agency partners, creating a whole-of-government, national effort to drive innovation in manufacturing. For additional information, see https://www.manufacturingusa.com/