NIST Unveils Vision and Strategy for National Semiconductor Tech Center

NIST Unveils Vision and Strategy for National Semiconductor Tech Center
Photo by Slejven Djurakovic / Unsplash

American semiconductors

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is embarking on an ambitious effort to advance American semiconductor research and development.

NIST's vision and strategy for the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) were released on Tuesday, providing an overview of how the agency will accelerate the US's ability to develop microchips and related technologies that will advance American technology leadership.

The NSTC is an important aspect of the research and development component of the CHIPS and Science Act. Specifically, Congress appropriated funds to develop the center to support and expand American semiconductor research, design, engineering, and manufacturing.

The center will develop and sponsor research programs and work with academic and industry partners to establish affiliated technical centers around the country as a research and innovation network.

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NSTC Objective

The NSTC aims to create an ambitious public-private consortium where government, industry, customers, suppliers, educational institutions, entrepreneurs, and investors can come together to innovate, connect and solve problems.

The center's programs are aimed at helping the entire semiconductor ecosystem meet the needs of the technology sector, including providing access to emerging materials and process technologies, digital assets and design tools, a chipset stockpile, and incubation for startups.

The NSTC has three goals: expand U.S. leadership in semiconductor technology, decrease the time and cost of moving from design to commercialization, and establish and sustain a semiconductor workforce development system.

The center will establish technical centers to extend and improve U.S. research facilities or build new, advanced facilities.

It will have collaboration from innovators and entrepreneurs, new and established businesses, chipmakers, material and equipment suppliers, educators, and trainees to address the challenges of the industry and to provide hands-on experience, training, and information sharing.

Stakeholder feedback emphasized the need to address a large range of issues. As a result, NIST noted it is important for the center to be “viewed throughout the ecosystem as neutral, trusted, and science-driven.”

public-private partnership

The National Semiconductor Technology Center is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a transformative public-private partnership that can lay the groundwork for the invention of future semiconductors, systems, and applications impacting nearly every sector of the economy.

Raimondo and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will establish the center by creating a public-private consortium as required by the law. Commerce will issue a notice in the Federal Register for nominations to join a committee to select a board of trustees. The board will form a non-profit that Commerce expects to operate NSTC.

In conclusion, the NSTC is an essential initiative to advance American semiconductor research and development, which is crucial for the US to maintain its technology leadership and ensure economic and national security.

The center's programs will help the semiconductor ecosystem meet the technology sector's needs, and the establishment of technical centers will improve U.S. research facilities, foster collaboration and provide hands-on experience, training, and information sharing.

The NSTC's goals are ambitious, and the center is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a transformative public-private partnership that can lay the groundwork for the invention of future semiconductors, systems, and applications impacting nearly every sector of the economy.

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