U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has emphasized the need for continued investments in the American semiconductor industry to regain global leadership and meet the growing demand for artificial intelligence (AI) processors. During a virtual appearance at Intel's Foundry event, Raimondo underscored the significance of the U.S. government's efforts to fund the chip industry amid global challenges.

Raimondo highlighted the importance of sustained investment, mentioning the potential need for a follow-up to the CHIPS Act or a similar initiative to maintain the nation's position as a global leader. She stressed the essential role of the semiconductor sector, particularly in light of the increasing computational demands of AI technologies. Raimondo also referenced her discussions with Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, who seeks U.S. government support for his chip venture. The sheer volume of chips required for AI applications, as projected by industry leaders, was described as remarkable by Raimondo. Additionally, she emphasized that a surplus of AI processors would enable more companies to adopt artificial intelligence, providing a competitive advantage for the U.S.

The U.S. government's commitment to revitalizing the semiconductor industry is reflected in the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, which allocated $39 billion in direct grants and an additional $75 billion in loans and loan guarantees. The Commerce Department is actively distributing these funds, with three awards already announced to key industry players, including the American subsidiary of BAE Systems, GlobalFoundries, and Microchip Technology.

Intel is reportedly in negotiations for over $10 billion in grants and loans to support its expansion plans, including investments in facilities in Ohio and Arizona. Pat Gelsinger, chief executive of Intel, anticipates an upcoming announcement regarding the award, although Raimondo has not disclosed specifics about the plan.

Despite the Department of Commerce not yet fully disbursing the CHIPS Act funds, the U.S. government's commitment to revitalizing the domestic semiconductor industry has attracted significant investments. Various semiconductor companies, such as Intel, GlobalFoundries, Micron, Samsung, Texas Instruments, and TSMC, have either invested or committed to investing over $230 billion into the U.S. chip industry.