CHIPS Act pushes funding to Exascale App Dev and DevSecOps – The New Stack
Legislation to help the United States achieve chip sovereignty also contains provisions to fund software efforts when chip designs reach physical limits.
The United States House this week passed the US CHIPS and Science Act of 2022who is on his way to get President Joe Biden to sign the law.
The legislation opens up to $54 billion in funding for chip companies to open new factories, boost STEM efforts, and develop the underlying infrastructure for software-defined computing.
Energize the supply chain
The legislation will boost the US chip supply chain after shortages plagued industries such as automotive and consumer electronics. Lawmakers also hope the bill will counter tech competition from China, which has been accused of using chips and software to spy on the United States.
The bill unlocks funds to strengthen the hardware and software ecosystem for faster supercomputers and newer computing techniques such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
A program targets funding for essential hardware, applications and software for exascale computing. Part of the funding is directed towards the development of hardware and software technologies that reduce the power requirements of advanced computers.
“The program will include research and development that explores the convergence of big data analytics, simulations, and artificial intelligence to drive the design of heterogeneous computing system architectures,” the bill’s text reads.
High performance computing and security
The United States hosts the fastest supercomputer in the world, called Frontier, which is the first system in the world to offer more than an exaflop of performance. The US Department of Energy is revamping its roadmap for high-performance computing to account for new types of computers.
Billions of dollars are spent on the development of predictive software and algorithms for chemical, biological and climate change applications used on supercomputers.
The bill also focuses on DevSecOps – or adding security to software development to prevent malware from intruding into critical systems. Emphasis is placed on collaboration between academia and the public and private sectors to establish best practices and auditing systems to secure the software supply chain.
The bill provides funding “to develop a set of security findings and practices, including security controls, control enhancements, additional guidance, or other supporting information to enable developers and operators to software to identify, assess and manage cybersecurity risks throughout the software product lifecycle,” according to the text.
The legislation will also fund efforts to strengthen the security of open source software. The plan is to assign severity metrics to identify vulnerabilities in open-source software and “produce voluntary guidance to help entities that manage open-source software repositories discover and mitigate vulnerabilities,” according to the documentation.
The funding will also go towards the development of AI-based cybersecurity and the generation of optimized datasets “to train AI defense systems and evaluate the performance of different network architectures to strengthen network security. “.
The bill also allocates funds to develop an approach to testing cloud-based biometrics software and applications.
The various pieces of House and Senate legislation that tied together elements of the CHIPS Act were debated by lawmakers for more than a year and amended several times. The bill now enjoys bipartisan support in the US House and Senate.
Semiconductors have acquired national importance and a relatively new weapon in the political sphere. The United States banned chip exports to Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, while limiting exports of high-end chip technology to China.
Earlier this year, the EU introduced the EU Chip Act in a bid to create a more vibrant regional chip supply chain and incentivize chip makers to set up new factories.
Chipmakers lobbied aggressively for the rapid passage of the CHIPS Act. Intel is spending $20 billion to establish a new factory near Columbus, Ohio, and is relying on the CHIPS Act to partially fund the fab. Intel rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung are also establishing new factories in the United States and are expected to receive US government funding through the CHIPS Act.
In a statement, the Semiconductor Industry Association, an industry lobbying firm, congratulated the House for clearing the way for the bill be signed into law. Supporters of the bill said it would bring well-paying jobs to the United States
But critics said the legislation was more of a government gift to chipmakers. The bill is not being paid and the new factories will be funded by US taxpayers, which has also drawn criticism. The bill goes add about $79 billion to the US deficitaccording to figures from the Congressional Budget Office.