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Oregon seeking federal funding for semiconductor tech center

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(The Center Square) – Oregon will seek federal semiconductor research and development funds to create a National Semiconductor Technology Center affiliated technical center.

“With our existing workforce hub in Washington County and a robust semiconductor manufacturing and exporting industry, Oregon has set a strong foundation as a decades-long national center of research and development,” Governor Tina Kotek said in a statement.

“With support from industry leaders, the federal delegation, our universities, and local leadership, Oregon is excited for the potential to host an NSTC-affiliated technical center and advance our strong track record as a leader in the semiconductor supply chain.”

The state announced this at an event celebrating Intel’s plans to invest over $37 billion to expand its global center for research and development in Oregon.

“The Silicon Forest and Oregon’s long and proven record of semiconductor innovation and manufacturing makes our state a naturally perfect fit for this center,” U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, said. “I worked to pass the federal CHIPS Act in no small part because of standout job-generating opportunities just like this national semiconductor technology center for Oregon that’s uniting our state to take full advantage of our leading-edge position in the global semiconductor industry.”

Ann Kelleher, Executive Vice President of Foundry Technology Development at Intel Corporation, also voiced support for Oregon’s initiative.

“Oregon’s rich history in semiconductor manufacturing and its commitment to fostering innovation make it an ideal location for an NSTC technical center,” Kelleher said. “As Intel continues to invest in cutting-edge technology and expand our operations in Oregon, we are laying the foundation for the future of semiconductor research and development in the United States, ensuring our nation remains at the forefront of technological advancement.”

In February, the Biden administration announced that it would spend over $5 billion on semiconductor-related research, development, and workforce needs, including the National Semiconductor Technology Center.

“The NSTC technical center, which will focus on manufacturing-related research and development, will feature an Advanced Lithography Center located at Intel’s Hillsboro site, with state-of-the-art lithography tools necessary to develop the next generations of leading-edge semiconductor technology,” a release said. “The technical center will invite ecosystem partners, academic researchers, and advanced chip design teams to bring their latest tools, materials, and prototypes to work at the leading edge of semiconductor technology.”

Intel secured the world’s first commercial-use High Numerical Aperture lithography tool for its research and development facilities in Hillsboro, Oregon.

“Known as ‘High-NA EUV’, this is the most advanced semiconductor processing tool in the world, and perhaps the most complex piece of manufacturing equipment ever built,” the release said.

The Oregon CHIPS Act allocated $240 million to create a grant and loan program to subsidize semiconductor business expansion into Oregon.

“The state funds provide the opportunity to attract significant federal funding from the CHIPS and Science Act that Congress passed and President Biden signed in August 2022,” the release said.

The Oregon CHIPS Act also gave $10 million to communities to prepare land for manufacturing sites, plus $10 million for a University Innovation Research Fund to help public universities secure federal research grants.

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