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CHIPS R&D Metrology web banner of semiconductor industry worker checking the quality of newly produced chips
Credit: A. Kim / NIST


On April 16, 2024, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to seek applications from eligible small businesses to explore the technical merit or feasibility of an innovative idea or technology for developing a viable product or service for introduction in the commercial microelectronics marketplace. 

The CHIPS for America program anticipates up to approximately $54 million in funding across multiple topics on research projects for critically needed measurement services, tools, and instrumentation; innovative manufacturing metrologies; novel assurance and provenance technologies and advanced metrology research and development (R&D) testbeds to help secure U.S. leadership in the global semiconductor industry. 

Full Applications were due June 14, 2024. Applications received after this deadline will not be reviewed or considered. 

Click here for more information about the NOFO and application process.

Metrology plays a key role in semiconductor manufacturing. As devices become more complex, smaller, and multi-layered, the ability to measure, monitor, predict, and ensure quality in manufacturing becomes much more difficult and uncertain. Today, the domestic semiconductor industry faces some of these metrology challenges with workarounds and inadequate tools, limiting production yields, impacting quality, and increasing costs. As greater demands are put on semiconductor device performance and material requirements, these challenges will continue to intensify.  

The CHIPS Metrology Program emphasizes measurements that are accurate, precise, and fit-for-purpose for the production of microelectronic materials, devices, circuits, and systems. This work leverages NIST’s proven measurement science expertise, foundational communications and computing research capabilities, standards development contributions, and stakeholder engagement practices to address the highest priority metrology challenges identified across industry, academia, and government agencies.  

Key Research & Development Areas

In September 2022, NIST published a report titled Strategic Opportunities for U.S. Semiconductor Manufacturing, which identifies seven grand challenges that need critical attention from a metrology perspective to achieve the future state vision of a U.S.-led global semiconductor industry.

CHIPS Metrology Program seven grand challenges
Credit: NIST
The CHIPS Metrology Program aligns its research and development portfolios based on the identified metrology needs of the seven grand challenges:
  1. Metrology for Materials Purity, Properties, and Provenance
  2. Advanced Metrology for Future Microelectronics Manufacturing
  3. Enabling Metrology for Integrating Components in Advanced Packaging
  4. Modeling and Simulating Semiconductor Materials, Designs, and Components
  5. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Modeling and Simulating Semiconductor Manufacturing Processes
  6. Standardizing New Materials, Processes, and Equipment for Microelectronics
  7. Metrology to Enhance Security and Provenance of Microelectronic-based Components and Products

The CHIPS R&D Office published Metrology Gaps in the Semiconductor Ecosystem in July 2023, outlining the Metrology Program’s roadmap and its efforts to ensure that the research portfolio is aligned with CHIPS Act, external stakeholder needs, and NIST capabilities.

Projects launched by the CHIPS Metrology Program are listed below. This page will continue to be updated with additional projects.