The US Department of Defense has awarded specialty foundry SkyWater Technology Inc. (Bloomington, Minn.) up to $99 million to qualify production capacity for strategic radiation-hard circuits.
The award is a continuation of a previous initiative. The DOD recently determined that SkyWater has successfully completed the base prototype project for its 90nm rad-hard process (RH90), part of a previously announced $170 million investment (SkyWater funded to expand, develop next rad-hard process).
This additional award enables the move to productization and qualification, which is already underway, SkyWater said.
During the RH90 base program phase, SkyWater worked with partners to establish components of the RH90 ecosystem, including an initial PDK, the multi-project wafer (MPW) shuttle program coupled with an Early Access Partner Program, and engaged with IP providers to develop SRAM compilers and embedded FPGA IP needed to make designing into RH90 easier. The qualification step includes radiation and reliability testing. Further development of IP design libraries will enable ecosystem design and manufacturing partners to produce processors, security engines, memory, interface devices application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and other mission critical strategic products.
SkyWater’s RH90 process is expected to be qualified by the end of 2024 and added to the DOD’s qualified manufacturers’ list, with a classification V designation (QML-V).
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