skip to main content

US DoD signs billion-dollar semiconductor deal

A new, flexible silicon-on-polymer semiconductor chip developed by the US Air Force Research Laboratory. (US Air Force)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has inked a 10-year, USD3.1 billion semiconductor manufacturing deal with New York-based GlobalFoundries (GF), to produce critical microelectronics (ME) for current and future aerospace systems and weapons platforms.

GF will receive USD17.3 million up front, as part of the contract with the department's Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA), according to a 21 September company statement. As per the terms of the contract, drafted by DMEA's Trusted Access Program Office (TAPO), the Pentagon and department contractors will have access to GF-built semiconductor technologies over the next decade, the statement said.

Aside from DoD access to domestically built ME systems and components from GF, the Pentagon will also have access to the company's “design ecosystem, IP [internet protocol] libraries, early access to new technologies in development, quick and efficient prototyping, and full-scale volume manufacturing”, the statement noted.

The 21 September deal with the DoD marks the third such agreement between the department and GF, with the two previous deals each running for a 10-year time span. The company's domestic semiconductor manufacturing facilities have been categorised by the DoD as Trusted Supplier Category 1A.

The facility and manufacturing guidelines for 1A trusted suppliers “implements proven stringent security measures to protect sensitive information and manufacture chips with the highest levels of integrity to ensure they are uncompromised”, company officials said in the statement.

“GF is [1A] accredited to provide the right level of security required for each [DoD] programme ... to the highest level of accredited microelectronics manufacturing security,” Mike Cadigan, GF's chief corporate and government affairs officer, added in the statement.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...