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National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program

CHIPS for America National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program web banner showing production wafers
Credit: A. Kim / NIST / Adobe Stock

U.S. Department of Commerce Invites Eight Teams to Submit Applications for the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program Funding Opportunity for Materials and Substrates 

On May 22, 2024, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that eight teams have been selected to submit full applications for the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP) funding opportunity for materials and substrate materials. The funding opportunity, released in February 2024, requested applications for research and development (R&D) activities that will establish and accelerate domestic capacity for advanced packaging substrates and substrate materials, a key technology for manufacturing semiconductors. CHIPS R&D is a critical part of President Biden’s agenda to support American innovation for decades to come. 

Emerging applications like artificial intelligence, advanced telecommunications, biomedical devices, and autonomous vehicles require leap-ahead advances in microelectronics capabilities. Substrates are the basis for advanced packaging, which will enhance all aspects of system performance. More capable substrates open the door to innovation at every other level in the packaging process.   

Final projects will play a vital role in helping to ensure that American innovation drives cutting-edge developments in semiconductor R&D and manufacturing. The CHIPS for America program anticipates awarding approximately $300 million in amounts up to approximately $100 million over up to 5 years per award. Program awards may be leveraged by voluntary co-investment. Full applications are due on July 3, 2024.  

Please visit the CHIPS R&D funding page for information on other opportunities.

Packaging CHIPS for America
Credit: A. Kim/NIST

“Advanced packaging” refers to many chips with diverse functions assembled tightly together on a substrate in two or three dimensions at extremely fine dimensions. This method achieves function, performance, and power savings far greater than can be achieved with conventionally packaged chips on a printed circuit board. Recent advances in artificial intelligence, for example, would not be possible without advanced packaging.

Advanced packaging can be a transformative capability that helps U.S. manufacturers compete globally, but there are many technological challenges to solve. The CHIPS Research and Development Office has established the CHIPS National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program to address these challenges, including:

  • How do we design and assemble chips so tightly that they behave like a single traditional large chip, but with the production efficiency and cost savings of advanced packaging?
  • How do we supply power to and dissipate heat from such tightly coupled assemblies?
  • How do we test and repair such complex assemblies?
  • How do we ensure their reliability since traditional methods of visual inspection cannot be performed on such small, tightly packaged dimensions?

Investments in semiconductors will not succeed without investments in advanced packaging. The CHIPS and Science Act offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish a domestic competitive advanced packaging capability in semiconductor manufacturing. 

In addition, the CHIPS NAPMP will help train semiconductor personnel and students in relevant technologies and feed these developments into domestic manufacturing facilities. The CHIPS NAPMP will work closely with the CHIPS National Semiconductor Technology Center, the semiconductor-related CHIPS Manufacturing USA Program, the CHIPS Metrology Program, and U.S. industry and academia to make this vision a reality.

The CHIPS NAPMP will enable the development of a robust domestic advanced packaging ecosystem by:

  • Establishing an advanced packaging piloting facility (or facilities) that accelerates the transfer of innovations in packaging, equipment, and process development into manufacturing;
  • Driving the development of digital tools to reduce the time and cost of advanced packaging engineering; and,
  • Establishing and supporting partnerships among industry, academia and training entities, and government to contribute to an advanced packaging workforce.

The six priority research investment areas of the CHIPS NAPMP are:

  1. Materials and substrates
  2. Equipment, tools, and processes
  3. Power delivery and thermal management for advanced packaging assemblies
  4. Photonics and connectors that communicate with the outside world
  5. A chiplet ecosystem
  6. Co-design of multi-chiplet systems with automated tools

Learn more from the CHIPS NAPMP vision paper, and sign up for updates from CHIPS to be informed of upcoming CHIPS NAPMP programs, events, and funding opportunities.