Globalfoundries has signed a strategic partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to provide a supply of semiconductor solutions for sensitive applications for land, air, sea and space systems.
Under the agreement, GF will provide a supply of chips built at its Fab 8 manufacturing facility on its 45 nm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform. The agreement was made possible by Fab 8’s compliance with the U.S. international traffic in arms regulations (ITAR) and the restrictive export control classification numbers under the export administration regulations (EAR).
The agreement comes at a time when the U.S. government, semiconductor manufacturers in the U.S. and organizations are pushing to increase domestic chip manufacturing. After COVID-19 struck and supply chains were impacted, the U.S. made domestic chip manufacturing a national security priority as well to ensure a reliable source of semiconductors from additional sources instead of relying only on manufacturers in China and Taiwan.
Legislation has been introduced to further increase investment in manufacturing in the U.S. and to garner interest from foreign and domestic companies. Late last year, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that includes Title XCIX entitled “Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America (CHIPS),” which would create provisions for the establishment of federal incentives to promote semiconductor manufacturing and federal investments in chip research.
GF and the DoD has a longstanding partnership to provide chips for defense, aerospace and other sensitive government applications. GF currently supplies the DoD with chips manufactured at GF’s other onshore facilities including Fab 10 in East Fishkill, New York, and Fab 9 in Burlington, Vermont.
“This agreement with Globalfoundries is just one step the Department of Defense is taking to ensure the U.S. sustains the microelectronics manufacturing capability necessary for national and economic security,” GF and DoD said in a joint statement. “This is a pre-cursor to major efforts contemplated by the recently passed CHIPS for America Act, championed by Senator Charles Schumer, which will allow for the sustainment and on-shoring of U.S. microelectronics capability.”
The first chips from this agreement are targeted for delivery in 2023.