Billions of dollars in subsidies to companies building new semiconductor factories in the United States are gaining momentum. Samsung Electronics, Intel, and Taiwan TSMC are expected to benefit.
The U.S. government has been holding discussions with these companies on the scale of subsidies since the second half of last year, but has been at a standstill. However, the mood has changed dramatically as U.S. President Joe Biden aggressively promoted economic policies ahead of the presidential election in November. Ohio and Arizona, where these companies are building factories, are considered major competitors. Samsung Electronics is also said to be in the final stages of negotiations with the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on the 28th that the Biden administration plans to provide subsidies by the end of March to some companies building advanced semiconductor factories in the U.S. The move is based on the Semiconductor Science Act, which provides a total of $52.7 billion in subsidies, including semiconductor production ($39 billion), R&D ($13.2 billion), and technology security and supply chain ($500 million). Some predict that President Biden will be able to announce the subsidy plan before the scheduled State of the Union address on March 7.
The beneficiaries include Intel, which is building a semiconductor manufacturing cluster in Ohio, TSMC, which is building two semiconductor plants in Arizona, and Samsung Electronics, which is building a second semiconductor foundry (consignment production) plant by investing $17 billion in Taylor City, Texas.
WSJ predicts that billions of dollars in funding will be provided to advanced chip manufacturers that are needed for smartphones, artificial intelligence (AI) and weapon systems. The U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to provide subsidies to a total of 12 chipmakers this year.
Earlier, the U.S. Department of Commerce received applications from 170 companies hoping for semiconductor subsidies, but only two companies, British defense companies BAE Systems and microchip technology, have provided small subsidies. BAE and Microchip Technology’s new factories are also located in contested areas such as New Hampshire and Colorado.