Globalfoundries and SkyWater Technology to supply chips to U.S. defense industry

In a significant development, Globalfoundries and SkyWater Technology stated, they have reached a reached a deal to supply semiconductor chips to the U.S. defense industry and will collaborate on developing new technologies.

The development comes at a time when the industry is slowly moving towards more U.S. manufacturing.

California-based semiconductor manufacturing firm Globalfoundries is owned by the United Arab Emirates’ sovereign wealth fund. It already supplies defense chips through a number of factories it acquired in the United States in 2015 when it purchased the chip-manufacturing unit of International Business Machines Corp.

In 2017, Skywater was divested from U.S.-based Cypress Semiconductor. It is wholly U.S.-owned.

In 2019, the company received up to $170 million in funding from the U.S. Defense Department to develop chips designed to withstand radiation from nuclear attacks and space travel.

Each chip factory is unique, which can make it hard to have the same chip made by two different factories.

Under the terms of a memorandum of agreement both companies said they would align their technologies to give defense customers reliable access to high-volume manufacturing.

“This (agreement) shows proactive industry cooperation that can complement developing government policy focused on restoring American leadership for semiconductor manufacturing,” said Brad Ferguson, SkyWater’s chief technology officer and head of government relations.

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