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U.S. Senate passes bill that will provide $52 billion in semiconductor funding

NZXT N7 B550
NZXT N7 B550 (Image credit: Windows Central)

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.

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 robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

12 Comments
  • The US could just lower their taxes so more companies would actually produce here, but that would make too much sense. Instead we just give in to cronyism and lobbyists on these issues.
  • Nope, we are the least educated when it comes to this. The US doesn't know how to make anything. Education funding needs to be increased...Only a fair share of taxes can supply those funds.
  • Uh, what? Plenty of the research and design of these products come from America and American companies.
  • What the hell are you talking about most of the design/development is done in the US and then shipped off to factories mostly not in this country (but China or similar places) to be built and then the tech is stolen and similar products are replicated and produced at a much cheaper rate because those companies actually don't have to invest large amounts to do the actual work to create/develop. And essence the ability to do this is given by the host countries (like China with their lack of enforcement, pretending they are developing country and the WHO doing nothing about it) and in part by these companies themselves, like NVidia, AMD, Intel, etc.. Personally, I am not for bailing out these tech companies. They lived high off the hog while the times were good (even though their tech was being stolen) and now with all their eggs in one basket which countless times people told them not to do they are beholden to China. This is on them. Spending billions now is not going to help you get that card anytime soon. This is something these companies who have 10s of billions in the bank should be doing themselves. This is no better than bailing out Bezos space company for 10 billion. Not our responsibility.
  • I totally get where your coming from. There's just one little problem. Because they were greedy. We are the ones paying for it. In the long run we need to find a solution and fast. China can easily cut the supply channel and swallow up Taiwan at the same time. Where will that leave us. Its a crappy place to be but we need to fix it and fast. China is a monster that we created and constantly feed. Eventually the monster will eat the hand that feeds it.
  • "We the people" voted for the people gifting our tax money.
    So, yes, it *is* our responsibility for giving them the ability to use us to support the friends of the party. You can't support the gerontocracy on voting day and then wash your hands of tbeir deeds. If "billionaires" get away with not paying visible taxes it is only because the law crafters made it possible. And that was made possible by "we the people" who gave them the power to spend six trillion (we don't have) in a year.
    The buck *starts* here.
  • Too much sense.
    Letting companies keep more of tbeir money to build things here isn't as good for the party as taking the money from the company and the workers and giving it to the friends of the party (c.f. SOLYNDRA) Plus it protects the old, fossilized companies from having to, you know, COMPETE.
    Like the fecent complaint from VIASAT, asking the FAA to kill STARLINK because (they literally said it in their filing) it would take business away from them. You can't make up this stuff.
  • It has more to do with the cost of resources, labor and raw materials.
  • Are you smoking that **** bro? These super rich Corporations aren't paying taxes as it is. Have you been living under a rock?
  • Not just graphics cards. The semiconductor shortages are affecting vehicle production, anything with a CPU and/or GPU in it.
  • Which is pretty much everthing this side of Etsy and the gig economy.
  • Surprised how the article failed to mention mining as a variable to the inability of gamers to get gaming hardware in their hands and as part of the cause of the GPU prices going ABSURD.