While pursuing complete self-sufficiency as a goal would be unrealistic, the proposals are designed to provide public funding for each region’s critical semiconductor needs. Both plans provide public support to help increase private investment in semiconductor R&D and manufacturing, but the plans have distinct implementation strategies and requirements.
To receive support for a “first-of-a-kind” manufacturing facility in Europe, the EU Chips Act’s regulation also requires investments in “next-gen” chips. The US CHIPS Act does not have a similar requirement, but Intel advocates using an applicant’s commitments to domestic R&D as a factor in the decision making for public funding.
The US CHIPS Act has progressed at a slower rate than its European counterpart. And unlike its EU homologue, it lacks a clause to expedite the permitting process for new facilities. A delay in permitting in our dynamic industry means that proposed investments that would otherwise happen in the US if there were CHIPS funding may occur elsewhere.
A strong digital talent pipeline is crucial to a successful semiconductor ecosystem. The US CHIPS Act wisely requires grant applicants to invest in workforce training to help support the expected increase in new semiconductor facilities. The EU Chips Act will also support education, training, skilling and reskilling initiatives, but it is not a requirement.