SkyWater to 'on-shore' packaging of chips in Florida

October 08, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
SkyWater to 'on-shore' packaging of chips in Florida
US process development foundry SkyWater has said it plans to provide advanced packaging services out of a fabrication facility in Florida

SkyWater Technology Foundry Inc. (Bloomington, Minnesota) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Osceola County, south of Orlando in central Florida, to define terms for SkyWater to manage a pre-existing facility called the Center for Neovation.

The center is the result of a public-private partnership formed in 2014 to bring high-paying jobs into the region and operate an advanced manufacturing center focused on microelectronics. The Center for Neovation is a 109,000 square foot facility with approximately 60,000 square feet of of cleanroom and laboratory/manufacturing space.

SkyWater said the facility could enable advanced packaging and heterogeneous integration technology. This could provide a domestic alternative to outsourcing packaging and module assembly to Asia, SkyWater said. The advantages would include increased security and faster time to market for customers. In addition, SkyWater's relationships with government entities will build upon the operation's success in attracting government programs.

"It is our objective to play a significant role in re-domesticating and optimizing technology manufacturing and supply chain management," said Thomas Sonderman, CEO of SkyWater," in a statement.

"This potential new public-private partnership with Osceola County is a natural way to extend our capabilities for the defense community and our commercial customers who will benefit from stronger collaboration and integration between domestic foundry and advanced packaging services."

Don Fisher, county manager for Osceola County, said: "As a Trusted foundry, SkyWater is well-equipped to continue existing contracts with the Department of Defense."

SkyWater is the result of the buy out of a former Cypress Semiconductor wafer fab which has been turned into a pilot foundry and process development partner and has earned "Trusted Foundry" status from the US government easing its ability to be used for defense contracts.

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