The Department of Commerce has decided to suspend the issuance of funding opportunities for semiconductor research and development (R&D) facilities construction, modernization, or expansion, as announced in a recent newsletter by the CHIPS Program Office.

This decision comes in response to the overwhelming demand for funding from the $39 billion facility incentive program established by the CHIPS and Science Act, along with changes in legislation outlined in the final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2024.

Although the specific R&D funding opportunity is currently on hold, the office has committed to allocating $11 billion for semiconductor R&D through other programs supported by the CHIPS and Science Act.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo emphasized in a recent statement that the distribution of CHIPS funds needs to strike a balance. Initially planning to invest approximately $28 billion of the total $39 billion program budget in incentives for cutting-edge chip manufacturing, Raimondo highlighted that requests from leading companies exceed $70 billion, leading to challenging deliberations.

The CHIPS Program Office will outline its strategy for supporting semiconductor R&D in an upcoming webinar scheduled for April 9, with a primary focus on the National Semiconductor Technology Center.