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August 16, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Texas makes big play on semiconductors

State legislators appropriate $1.4 billion for the "Texas Semiconductor Innovation Fund" and initiatives at UT-Austin and Texas A&M.

Everyone has probably heard that people in Texas think big, and that descriptor is very accurate when it comes to the semiconductor industry.

Lawmakers in the state have approved $1.4 billion for semiconductor research and manufacturing, aiming to secure state and federal grants and create high-paying job opportunities in the next decade. The initiative includes passage of the “Texas CHIPS Act,” which will create the “Texas Semiconductor Innovation Fund,” a pot of money that will subsidize companies that manufacture chips in Texas and provide matching funds to universities and other state entities that invest in chip design or manufacturing projects. The legislative action in Texas follows the passage in late 2022 of the federal “CHIPS and Science Act” which, among other priorities, was designed to reduce dependence on China and other countries for semiconductors. It is expected to create 100,000 new high-paying jobs in the U.S. by the end of the decade.

  • UT-Austin will receive $440 million to build fabs, which will be part of the Texas Institute for Electronics (TIE), a public-private partnership launched in 2022 that plans to become a nonprofit, independent organization this year. TIE focuses on the manufacture of shells that contain microchips, a process known as packaging.

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