DoD unveils $197M microelectronics tech investment

On October 15, the Department of Defense announced it has awarded more than $197 million to advance microelectronics technology and strengthen the American microelectronics industrial base. This critical industry will underpin the development of other Department of Defense technology priorities such as artificial intelligence, 5G communications, quantum computing, and autonomous vehicles.

“The microelectronics industry is at the root of our nation’s economic strength, national security, and technological standing. Today’s awards support the Department’s mission to promote microelectronics supply chain security and accelerate U.S. development of the very best in circuit design, manufacturing, and packaging. It’s critical for the DOD and American industry to work together in meaningful partnerships to ensure the United States leads the world in microelectronics far into the future,” said Michael Kratsios, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

The nearly $200 million will be issued through two DOD programs: the Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes (RAMP) using Advanced Commercial Capabilities Project Phase 1 Other Transaction Award, and the State-of-the-Art Heterogeneous Integration Prototype (SHIP) Program Phase 2 Other Transaction Award.

The RAMP Phase 1 Other Transaction awards totaling $24.5M will be awarded to Microsoft and IBM to advance commercial leading-edge microelectronics physical “back-end” design methods with measurable security.

The SHIP Phase 2 Other Transaction awards totaling $172.7M will be awarded to Intel Federal and Qorvo to develop and demonstrate a novel approach towards measurably secure, heterogeneous integration and test of advanced packaging solutions.

These awards highlight how the Department is moving toward a new quantifiable assurance strategy that will help the DOD quickly and safely build and deploy leading-edge microelectronics technologies. This is a departure from the previous model of security that severely limited our ability to work with leading-edge firms, and demonstrates the Department’s forward-looking approach to promoting security.

The RAMP and SHIP awards also underscore the Department’s commitment to accelerating the nation’s rapid pace of microelectronics innovation through the development of novel manufacturing capabilities and new architectures for chips.

Source: DoD