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U.S. signs deal with Google to develop chips for researchers

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, it has a cooperative research and development agreement with Alphabet Inc.’s Google to create chips that scientists can use to create new semiconductor and nanotechnology devices.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the Department of Commerce and Google signed the agreement. SkyWater Technology, a manufacturer of semiconductors, will produce the chips at its semiconductor foundry in Bloomington, Minnesota, the department announced on Tuesday.

According to the deal, Google will cover the upfront costs of starting up production and will provide funding for the initial run of products. The chip’s circuitry will be designed by NIST in collaboration with university research partners.

The Chips and Science Act of the Biden administration was just approved by Congress and became law. In reaction to supply-chain problems, it authorizes investment targeted at boosting domestic semiconductor manufacture.

As a result of the legislation’s passing, a number of businesses have announced the construction of new semiconductor facilities. The law authorized around $52 billion in government subsidies for US semiconductor production and research as well as a $24 billion investment tax credit for chip factories.

“NIST anticipates designing as many as 40 different chips optimised for different applications. Because the chip designs will be open source, researchers will be able to pursue new ideas without restriction and share data and device designs freely,” the Commerce Department said in a statement.

According to the announcement, research partners that contributed to the chip designs included the Universities of Michigan, Maryland, George Washington, Brown, and Carnegie Mellon.