[News] AMD Reportedly Seeks Major Subsidy with Four Conditions from Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs

2024-05-20 Consumer Electronics / Semiconductors editor

As the era of AI advances, following NVIDIA’s application to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) for the “A+ Industrial Innovative R&D Program,”  which led to the establishment of the first R&D center in Asia and the creation of Taiwan’s largest AI supercomputer, “Taipei-1”, American AI chip giant AMD is set to follow suit.

According to a report from UDN, AMD plans to invest NTD 5 billion (roughly USD 155 million) to establish an R&D center in Taiwan and intends to apply for the A+ Industrial Innovative R&D Program from the MOEA, highlighting Taiwan’s critical role in AI chip design and manufacturing.

The MOEA has confirmed that AMD applied for the A+ Industrial Innovative R&D Program subsidy at the end of 2023. However, the funding for the program has already been exhausted. Therefore, funds must be allocated in the fifth phase of the A+ Industrial Innovative R&D Program, with the science and technology budget to be set for 2025.

This budget allocation must be approved by the new government administration. Additionally, MOEA officials stated that AMD must submit a concrete plan and gain approval from a review committee established by the Industrial Technology Department of the MOEA.

Previously, the MOEA’s substantial subsidies to global companies under the A+ Industrial Innovative R&D Program sparked mixed reactions within the industry. Some prominent local IC design companies criticized the MOEA, arguing that supporting global companies leads to competition against local businesses and drains valuable local R&D talent.

To avoid controversy, the MOEA has set forth four specific requirements for AMD.

First, they hope AMD will collaborate with Taiwanese IC design companies. Second, any AI servers developed should be manufactured in Taiwan. Third, at least 20% of the R&D workforce should be sourced from abroad, and high-level executives should be stationed in Taiwan. Fourth, AMD should partner with Taiwanese universities to cultivate talent jointly. The MOEA reports that AMD’s response has been very positive, and a thorough review of the application will take place in the second half of the year.

To date, the MOEA’s A+ Industrial Innovative R&D Program has approved subsidies only for two global companies, Micron and NVIDIA, providing them with NTD 4.722 billion (USD 146.48 million) and NTD 6.7 billion (USD 207.8 million), respectively. The MOEA believes this strategy helps solidify Taiwan’s competitive edge in the global semiconductor and AI sectors.

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(Photo credit: AMD)

Please note that this article cites information from UDN.

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