SkyWater Begins Domestic Fab Expansion Tool Installation to Support $170M DOD Investment

Project progresses ahead of schedule and enables first Strategic Rad-Hard MPW shuttles in 2020 By DA Staff / 09 Sep 2020
Skywater Foundry
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SkyWater Technology’s facility expansion, which is supported by Department of Defense (DOD) investment of up to $170 million, is progressing ahead of schedule and tool installation has already started.

The DOD’s investment was made under the Trusted and Assured Microelectronics (T&AM) program which is developing enhanced sources of microelectronics for the Department’s unique needs. The T&AM program seeks to collaborate with industry and key laboratory partners to provide sustainable, assured technology solutions for national security and defense.

Less than a year ago, SkyWater announced a multi-phase project to enhance microelectronics capabilities for the DOD and the Strategic Rad-Hard market by expanding its DOD-accredited facility. The expansion will also support complementary technologies for commercial applications in extreme environments such as space and medical imaging. SkyWater is planning to launch its first Early Access Program MPW (Multi-Project Wafer) shuttles before the end of 2020.

Additionally, the expansion will enable SkyWater to add copper (Cu) interconnect process technology for enhanced mixed-signal device performance and interposer offerings for advanced packaging. The new Cu interconnect capability will also be critical in supporting the company’s roadmap for more advanced node geometries beyond 90 nm and aligns well with the growing need for domestic advanced packaging solutions.

Recent global trade and supply chain dynamics have highlighted the disparity between the U.S. dominance in technology innovation and lagging role of semiconductor manufacturing. These dynamics are driving federal legislation to facilitate national investment intended for reshoring critical semiconductor manufacturing elements to improve security for both commercial and national security interests. This expansion of SkyWater’s Bloomington, Minnesota facility is an example of how partnerships between the private and public sector can accelerate the regrowth of onshore advanced manufacturing capabilities.

“We are pleased with the progression of work on our facility expansion, especially through the Minnesota winter and this unprecedented pandemic. As an Essential Business, we have safely maintained operations while continuing to serve our government and commercial clients and working to fulfill our commitment to the DOD ahead of schedule,” said Tom Legere, SkyWater senior vice president of operations.

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