The Department of Defense (DoD) announced it is investing $197 million to advance microelectronics technology and strengthen the American microelectronics industry.
The Pentagon said its investment plan recognizes that the microelectronics industry is essential to developing other key DoD technologies, including 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. [This funding] support[s] 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,” said Michael Kratsios, Federal CTO. “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.”
The funding will be distributed through two DoD programs: the Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes (RAMP) using Advanced Commercial Capabilities Project Phase 1 Other Transaction Award will receive $24.5 million, and the State-of-the-Art Heterogeneous Integration Prototype (SHIP) Program Phase 2 Other Transaction Award will receive the remaining $172.7 million.
The RAMP Phase 1 Other Transaction is focused on advancing commercial leading-edge microelectronics physical “back-end” design methods with measurable security. The SHIP Phase 2 Other Transaction will go to developing and demonstrating a novel approach towards measurably secure, heterogeneous integration and test of advanced packaging solutions.
“These awards highlight how the Department is moving towards a new quantifiable assurance strategy that will help the DOD quickly and safely build and deploy leading-edge microelectronics technologies,” the DoD said in a press release. “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.”