GlobalFoundries and SkyWater ink US infrastructure supply deal

Glowing silicon could usher in the future of computing.
Image: Cody DeBos / The Burn-In

GlobalFoundries and SkyWater Technology recently made an agreement with the U.S. government to supply semiconductors for America’s defense infrastructure. The two foundries will collaborate on designing and manufacturing microelectronics to bolster the defense sector’s technological leadership and domestic chip supply.

The firms’ new contract follows recent efforts by Washington to increase America’s semiconductor production capacity.

GlobalFoundries and SkyWater Partnership Details

In a press release, GlobalFoundries and SkyWater explained they would harness their combined resources and expertise to produce advanced technological solutions. Neither foundry disclosed the financial terms or duration of their new deal. But both companies stressed the importance of providing the U.S. defense industry with secure, locally manufactured microelectronics.

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Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, GlobalFoundries is the world’s leading specialty chip fabricator. True to its name, the company has a staff of over 14,000 and maintains factories in Germany, Singapore, and the United States. The Abu Dhabi-owned corporation processes high volume orders for clients in the aerospace, defense, automotive, computing, and telecommunications sectors.

Likewise, the Bloomington, Minnesota-based SkyWater is a pure-play foundry specializing in manufacturing custom mixed-signal CMOS and radiation-hardened components. A DMEA Category 1A Trusted manufacturer, the corporation landed a Defense Department contract worth $170 million in 2017.

Given their respective experience and fabrication capability, the two firms will likely develop some impressive next-generation components.

Expanding US Semiconductor Production Capacity

GlobalFoundries and SkyWater are on the latest semiconductor companies to announce a major new project centered in America.

In March, Intel and the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) expressed interest in building new U.S.-based factories during a meeting with White House officials. Subsequently, TSMC unveiled plans to establish a new $12 billion 5nm chip factory in Arizona. In doing so, the firm noted it would receive state and federal subsidies to construct its new facility in the United States.

In addition, earlier this week, Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced a bill called the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act. If passed into law, the legislation would provide $22.8 billion in financial support for the component industry, including $12 billion in new plant building incentives.

GlobalFoundries and SkyWater’s contract is significant so soon after CHIPS was introduced, and is indicative of a new trend. Like China, India, and Taiwan, the United States is making a serious commitment to cultivating domestic microelectronics fabrication.



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