26 July 2022
SkyWater to build $1.8bn fab in partnership with State of Indiana and Purdue University
SkyWater Technology of Bloomington, MN, USA – a Department of Defense (DoD)-accredited technology foundry that manufactures integrated circuits for markets including aerospace & defense, automotive, biomedical, cloud & computing, consumer, industrial, and the Internet of Things (IoT) – plans to build a $1.8bn R&D and production facility in Indiana through a public–private partnership with the State and Purdue University to pursue funding from the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) for America Act. To be located on the Purdue campus in the Discovery Park District, the Indiana facility will provide access to SkyWater’s development services, volume production and heterogeneous integration solutions that the firm currently offers in its Minnesota and Florida facilities.
The ability to make this large an investment will depend on the result of SkyWater, Purdue University and the State of Indiana working together to obtain federal incentives in the form of grants as defined in the CHIPS Act currently making its way through the US Congress. Subsequently, SkyWater will continue implementing its co-investment business model through engagements with customers, suppliers and other agencies to ensure that those resources are applied to advanced capabilities, new tools and scaled production.
“For months, state leaders including Governor Holcomb, Secretary Chambers, President Daniels and private enterprise have partnered to create a semiconductor corridor here in the Heartland,” says US Senator Todd Young of Indiana. “In Washington, we are on the verge of passing a major investment in next-generation technologies that is vital for the success of this and future projects, and that will ensure Indiana remains at the center of our high-tech national security economy,” he adds.
“This endeavor to bolster our chip fabrication facilities will rely on funding from the CHIPS Act. Federal investment will enable SkyWater to more quickly expand our efforts to address the need for strategic reshoring of semiconductor manufacturing,” says SkyWater’s president & CEO Thomas Sonderman. “Through our alliance with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Purdue Research Foundation, we have a unique opportunity to increase domestic production, shore up our supply chains and lay the groundwork for manufacturing technologies that will support growing demand for microelectronics.”
The new SkyWater facility should accelerate domestic semiconductor capabilities, ensure IP security and support a more resilient and comprehensive supply chain, providing competitive advantages for its US government and commercial customers. By co-locating the fab at Purdue, SkyWater and its customers will benefit from close collaboration with the university and its pipeline of talent, it is expected.
“SkyWater’s investment in a new state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing facility at Purdue’s Discovery Park District represents a major step forward and highlights the importance of public-private partnerships in fostering a robust and thriving domestic microelectronics industry,” comments Dr Devanand Shenoy, principal director of microelectronics, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering/Critical Technologies.
“Indiana’s investments in the economy of the future, infrastructure and talent development are cultivating an environment that enables innovators such as SkyWater to choose Indiana,” believes Governor Holcomb. “Our success and our mission to support industries of the future would not be possible without the incredible partnerships with our globally ranked universities, like Purdue University, helping us attract and retain quality, innovative talent.”
The SkyWater facility in Indiana is aimed at enabling mass customization of highly innovative solutions, ensuring the firm plays a significant and pivotal role in:
- addressing and reducing the ongoing worldwide shortages of microelectronics;
- positioning the USA to regain the leading edge in advanced and disruptive technologies;
- diversifying the state economy with a considerable investment in a highly technical and future growth business;
- generating collateral benefit by attracting similar businesses, ecosystem support contractors, and energy and utility supply chains to locate in the same vicinity, and
- educating and developing technology talent while also creating local jobs.
“Today’s announcement marks a dramatic advance toward multiple strategic goals of Purdue’s last decade: enriched academic and career opportunities for our students; new research possibilities for our faculty; a transformed, more attractive environment on and adjacent to our campus; and the latest demonstration that Purdue and Greater Lafayette are now the hot new tech hub of a growing, diversifying Indiana economy,” says Purdue University president Mitch Daniels. “Even for the place that specializes in them, this constitutes a genuine giant leap.”
A diverse set of factors was considered when selecting West Lafayette, Indiana as the fab site, including but not limited to, the state’s highly skilled manufacturing workforce, proximity to university engineering programs and semiconductor customers, the Scalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement (SCALE) program managed by Purdue and sponsored by NSWC Crane, Indiana’s strong domestic and international relations, and the quality of life that Indiana residents enjoy.