Superpowers led by the U.S. and the European Union have funneled nearly $81 billion toward cranking out the next generation of semiconductors, escalating a global showdown with China for chip supremacy.

It’s the first wave of close to $380 billion governments worldwide earmarked for companies like Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to boost production of more powerful microprocessors.

The surge has pushed the Washington-led rivalry with Beijing over cutting-edge technology to a critical turning point that will shape the future of the global economy.