What you need to know
- The global semiconductor crisis attracted government attention many months ago.
- $52 billion in semiconductor funding has long been waiting for U.S. Senate approval.
- The bill containing said funding just passed.
The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act is a long overdue one. It grants $250 billion in funding, subsidies, and more, all aimed at boosting the United States' technological prospects. Though the bill is being positioned as an American response to China's strides toward technological dominance, there is a less divisive perspective one may choose to view the bill from: That of a certified gamer™ who just wants access to an NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti GPU with which to juice up their RGB-adorned PC.
One of the biggest casualties of the semiconductor shortage has been computer component availability, with the best graphics cards also being among the hardest to find anywhere online or in stores. The shortages are so extreme that people have been offering thousands of dollars to wait outside Best Buys ahead of the smallest supply drip feeds. $52 billion in funding (pulled from the overall $250 billion) will hopefully trickle down to average joes in the form of increased supplies of the consumer PC components they love and want.
Here's the concept: Companies such as Intel and TSMC have been awaiting the $52 billion of the Innovation and Competition Act reserved for semiconductor activities. If they get their way and are able to increase manufacturing output and boost profits in the process with the U.S. government's monetary assistance, standard manufacturing pipelines can resume, and shortages will go down, eventually leading to top-tier GPUs and CPUs becoming more widely available, as they were before 2020.
Mind you, that's the ideal outcome. As to what will actually happen, who knows. Still, many feel optimistic about the act and its various technological implications, including U.S. President Joe Biden, who applauded the Senate for making the bill happen.
On the flip side, China's not happy about the bill whatsoever. This may indicate the legislation will have indirect and unsavory consequences down the line, but for now, it's time to enjoy the idea of a few more PC parts in circulation.
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Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to email@example.com.