Globalfoundries, SkyWater sign deal to strengthen US chip supply

June 18, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
Globalfoundries, SkyWater sign deal to strengthen US chip supply
Two US-based foundries, Globalfoundries Inc. and SkyWater Technology Inc., have signed a memorandum of understanding for technology development to provide assurance of supply for the US government.

The two companies have agreed to cooperate on the development of emerging technologies. Globalfoundries is a high-volume producer of chips while SkyWater was formed recently as a developer of specialist processes and low volume producer.

SkyWater and Globalfoundries have agreed to align technology roadmaps and use their complementary capabilities to create a path from process development through to high-volume production for advanced computing, artificial intelligence and related applications.

Of particular note is a 90nm strategic rad-hard process that SkyWater is bringing to market following an investment of $170 million by the Department of Defense. When combined with divserse Globalfoundries manufacturing processes this will provide a richer portfolio of defense technology offerings. In addition the two companies are looking at second sourcing processes. 

SkyWater has also recently announced the licensing of a 90nm fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) CMOS process from MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The laboratory has developed the process to be radiation-hard and therefore useful for military aerospace applications.

"For many years, a large team has worked on this technology to be at this point where it will be offered by a commercially-focused foundry to address both government and non-defense related opportunities for rad-hard electronics," said Pascale Gouker, a senior staff member at Lincoln Laboratory, in a statement.

Globalfoundries has its own version FDSOI process at 22nm and is introducing FDSOI at 12nm.

SkyWater is preparing to run multiproject wafer (MPW) runs of the 90nm FDSOI prior to final qualification.In addition, SkyWater will offer the technology as part of an offering called Rad-SoC  that will be bolstered by IP cores offered by third parties.

SkyWater is a DoD-accredited 'trusted supplier', specializing in custom design and development services, design IP, and volume manufacturing for ICs. SkyWater makes mixed-signal CMOS, power and rad-hard chips while its Innovation Engineering Services is developing processes for superconducting and 3D ICs, along with carbon nanotube, photonic and MEMS devices.

Related links and articles:

www.skywatertechnology.com

www.globalfoundries.com

News articles:

Opinion: CHIPS for America is not enough

SkyWater funded to expand, develop next rad-hard process

NXP helps GloFo gain European trusted manufacturing status


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