A Tale of Two “Chips” Acts

Stewart Wills

The year’s giant semiconductor legislative packages, viewed through a photonic lens.

Woman and chip[Getty Images]

This year, the governments of the European Union and the United States have both stepped in to support the semiconductor business in a big way. In February, the EU unveiled the European Chips Act, which will pour €43 billion (US$42.9 billion) into state aid for big chip-fabrication plants and chipmaking infrastructure. And in July, the US Congress passed the behemoth CHIPS and Science Act, which will sprinkle some US$52 billion in subsidies and tax credits on chipmaking in the United States—and US$170 billion on research in a raft of tech-focused areas such as AI, robotics and quantum computing.

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