Skywater opens up space chip design with Vorago deal

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

US foundry SkyWater Technology is to implement the patented Hardsil space chip technology developed by Vorago for commercial, aerospace and defense applications

The strategic partnership effectively moves Vorago’s fabrication stateside to SkyWater’s DMEA-accredited Category 1A Trusted Foundry and opens up the radiation tolerant production of existing chip designs to other customers.

Hardsil is a cost-effective semiconductor processing method that enables devices to operate at higher temperature and radiation levels for space, aviation, industrial, and medical applications. It uses g a few additional implant modules based on standard fab equipment. It has been used under license by other leading semiconductor suppliers.

The technology will be available to SkyWater customers as a design-enabled processing method for new or existing designs on Skywater’s 90nm bulk CMOS process without any impact on die size, specification, and without redesign.

High reliability radiation-hardened (rad-hard) electronic components must be designed and manufactured so that exposure to ionizing radiation and/or extreme temperatures does not result in malfunctions or catastrophic failure. Vorago’s technology enables designers to meet rad-hard performance without requiring design changes.

Skywater pitches this as a key piece of ‘re-shoring’ to source components in the US raher than Taiwan for use in commercial as well as aerospace and defense applications.

“Partnering with a US-based pure-play foundry is an incredible milestone for us,” says Bernd Lienhard, CEO of Vorago Technologies. “We’re excited to move all of our manufacturing to SkyWater, the foundry of choice for our next-generation of rad-hard processors. We’re proud to work with SkyWater to bring our patented Hardsil technology to the aerospace and defense industry at large.”

“Implementing the Hardsil technology enhances our bulk 90 nm CMOS process by enabling applications in commercial and other markets that require high levels of radiation tolerance. VORAGO’s choice to move all their manufacturing to the U.S. is commendable as the nation continues its reshoring efforts for national and economic security,” said Thomas Sonderman, president and CEO of SkyWater.;


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