Federal government set to invest millions to build national chip network

The investment will be $120 million over five years

Federal government set to invest millions to build national chip network

The federal government will be investing millions over five years in order to build a national chip network, according to an announcement by Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne, as reported in an article by BNN Bloomberg.

The $120 million investment, which was made to address the calls for the government to improve the country’s semiconductor sector, will support a project led by CMC Microsystems, a nonprofit research accelerator. The $220 million project aimed to help Canadian startups with commercializing new technologies.

The article stated that the project was called the Fabrication of Integrated Components for the Internet’s Edge (Fabric) network and will be subsidizing the production of prototypes, giving participants access to tools, software, and training at a cheaper price. It will be offering funding of up to $10 million, which will be for hardware development in semiconductors, superconductors, smart sensors, and photonics.

CMC President Gordon Harling released a statement saying that the support for Fabric entailed a more secure future for Canada’s semiconductors and advanced manufacturing industry.

The article further said that the new funding followed the announcement made last April about a joint $187 million investment by IBM, Canada, and Quebec which was meant to expand the chip packaging facility of IBM Canada in Bromont.

Despite the development in the country’s chip sector, many have criticised the federal government’s inability to keep up with the global competition.

Canada’s Semiconductor Council Director Paul Slaby had complained about the fact that the country did not have an industrial strategy for its chip sector. The article further noted that during the International Economic Forum of the Americas conference last June, Slaby had pointed out how the federal government only recently started the building of a dedicated team for the sector.

The director further said that if Canada wanted to establish a notable presence in the international trade, it needed to control a niche piece of the supply chain, similar to what the Netherlands had done with its ASML Holding NV, its photolithography machine producer.