The US signs an agreement with Google to develop chips for researchers

The logo of Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department said it reached a collaborative research and development agreement with Alphabet Inc’s ( GOOGL.O ) Google to produce chips that researchers can use to develop new nanotechnology and semiconductor devices.

The agreement was signed between the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Google. The chips will be manufactured by semiconductor company SkyWater Technology ( SKYT.O ) at its semiconductor foundry in Bloomington, Minnesota, the department said on Tuesday.

Google will pay the initial cost of setting up production and will subsidize the initial production, according to the agreement. NIST, with university research partners, will design the circuits for the chips.

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The Biden administration’s Chips and Science Act was recently passed by Congress and signed into law. It authorizes financing aimed at jump-starting domestic semiconductor production in response to supply chain disruptions.

A number of companies have announced new semiconductor facilities following passage of the legislation, which authorized about $52 billion in government subsidies for U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and research, and an investment tax credit for chip facilities estimated to be worth $24 billion.

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

Research partners contributing to the chip designs include the University of Michigan, University of Maryland, George Washington University, Brown University and Carnegie Mellon University, the statement added.

Financial details of the agreement were not made public.

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Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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