GlobalFoundries receives US Department of Defense funding to accelerate GaN on Si offering

Misha Lu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

GlobalFoundries (GF) has received US$35 million in funding from the US Department of Defense (DoD) in support of its gallium nitride on silicon (GaN on Si) platform at GF's Essex Junction, Vermont facility, according a company press release dated October 18. The funding, awarded by the Trusted Access Program Office under the DoD, is expected to bring the company closer to volume production of GaN on Si on 200mm wafers. According to GF, 200mm wafer is state-of-the-art for GaN technology.

To achieve the target, the foundry plans to purchase additional tools to expand development and prototyping capabilities. GlobalFoundries' Vermont facility is a "trusted foundry" accredited by the Defense Microelectronics Activity to manufactures secure chips for the US defense industry. The Trusted Access Program Office (TAPO) administers the trusted foundry program.

"This strategic investment continues to strengthen our domestic ecosystem of critical dual-use commercial technologies, ensuring they're readily available and secure for DoD utilization. In concert with key partners, we're proactively shaping the future of our defense systems," said Christopher J. Lowman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment.

Alongside its operation in Vermont, GF also operates a trusted foundry in Malta, New York. Information from TAPO shows that the Vermont site offers various fabrication platforms at a wide range of process nodes, the maturest being 0.5 ㎛. Apart from CMOS, the facility's fabrication platforms include RF CMOS, High-Voltage CMOS, SOI CMOS, Bipolar CMOS and silicon germanium.

For now, the only GaN platforms accessible under the Trusted Foundry Program include those from Wolfspeed, Qorvo, M/A-COM Technology Solutions, BAE Systems Microwave Electronics Center, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon RF Components. The most advanced GaN-based process node avaliable under the program is offered by Wolfspeed at 140nm.