US Allocates $1.6bn for Advanced Chiplet Packaging R&D

July 10, 2024

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has unveiled an exciting opportunity for the microelectronics industry with the launch of a competition for $1.6 billion in funding. This funding is specifically earmarked for the establishment of four advanced packaging research and development (R&D) plants under the US CHIPS Act. The initiative, known as the NIST CHIPS National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Programme (NAPMP), aims to drive innovation and progress in the field of microelectronics.

As part of the NAPMP, the focus will be on chiplets, Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools, equipment, process integration, power delivery, thermal management, and connector technology. The program aligns with the 2024 IEEE Heterogeneous Integration Roadmap, which includes photonics and Radio Frequency (RF) technologies. These cutting-edge advancements are crucial for meeting the demands of emerging applications such as high-performance computing and low-power systems required for artificial intelligence (AI).

One of the key objectives of the NAPMP is to facilitate prototype developments in high-performance computing and low-power systems. These prototypes will play a vital role in showcasing the research advances and new packaging flows resulting from projects supported by the program. By focusing on areas essential for AI applications, the program aims to push the boundaries of microelectronics capabilities and drive significant progress in the industry.

CHIPS R&D plans to distribute the $1.6 billion funding through cooperative agreements and other transaction agreements, with an average award amount of $150 million. While co-investment is not mandatory, applications demonstrating credible co-investment commitments will be given preference. The program anticipates multiple awards for projects of varying scopes and funding amounts, each with a duration of five years.

The ultimate goal of the NAPMP activities, in conjunction with CHIPS manufacturing incentives, is to establish a thriving and self-sustaining packaging industry in the United States. By enabling the packaging of advanced node chips domestically, the initiative aims to bolster the country's microelectronics sector and enhance its global competitiveness.

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