WASHINGTON D.C. — The Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons Hub, led by the Applied Research Institute in Indiana, was one of eight regional innovation hubs funded by the Department of Defense on Wednesday to help increase the production of semiconductor technologies and microelectronics.
According to a news release from the Department of Defense, the Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons Hub was awarded $32.9 million as part of the establishment of the regional hubs. Indiana is expected to lead this particular hub, with a total of 130 hub members.
The goal of the program is to use the regional hubs to increase the prototyping of domestic hardware and the “lab-to-fab” transition of semiconductor technologies. According to the release, these hubs are expected to help mitigate supply chain risk and expedite access to “the most cutting-edge microchips” for troops.
Overall, $238 million was granted through the “Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act” to establish the hubs throughout the country, the largest award to date under the act. The hubs will help spur economic growth across their respective regions as well as for the economy at large.
“Consistent with our warfighter-centric approach to innovation,” Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks said in the release, “these hubs will tackle many technical challenges relevant to DoD’s missions, to get the most cutting-edge microchips into systems our troops use every day: ships, planes, tanks, long-range munitions, communications gear, sensors, and much more.”
According to the release, six technology areas were selected as focus areas for the program. Each hub will be focusing on one or more of these areas:
- Secure Edge/Internet of Things (IoT) Computing;
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hardware;
- Quantum Technology;
- Electromagnetic Warfare;
- Commercial Leap Ahead Technologies.
In a statement from the office of Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, he congratulated Silicon Crossroads on the successful proposal, stating that Indiana, as well as the other states involved, will have a “significant role in the DoD’s microelectronics strategy to build American dominance in microelectronics production and development.”
“Located in America’s heartland, Silicone Crossroads builds on the Midwest’s strengths in research and development as well as workforce training at all levels, to build a domestic semiconductor industry, a national security imperative to keep our nation ahead of our adversaries,” Holcomb said in the release.
In a statement from the office of U.S. Senator Todd Young, R-Ind., Young said this announcement shows that “Hoosiers are leading the way” in this industry.
“As we collectively work to grow the nation’s microelectronics base, Indiana will play a key role in the development of these critical national security technologies and capabilities,” Young said in the release. “More broadly, this announcement shows how the CHIPS and Science Act will connect more of America, including the industrial Midwest, to the innovation economy. This is an exciting day for all who partnered on this effort across Indiana.”
The other awardees, according to the release, include:
- Northeast Microelectronics Coalition Hub
- Awardee: The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech)
- Award: $19.7 million
- 90 hub members
- California Defense Ready Electronics and Microdevices Superhub
- Awardee: The University of Southern California
- Award: $26.9 million
- 16 hub members
- Commercial Leap Ahead for Wide Bandgap Semiconducters Hub
- Awardee: North Carolina State University
- Award: $39.4 million
- Seven hub members
- Southwest Advanced Prototyping Hub
- Awardee: Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of Arizona State University
- Award: $39.8 million
- 27 hub members
- Midwest Microelectronics Consortium Hub
- Awardee: MMEC
- Award: $24.3 million
- 65 hub members
- Northeast Regional Defense Technology Hub
- Awardee: The Research Foundation for the State University of New York
- Award: $40 million
- 51 hub members
- California-Pacific-Northwest AI Hardware Hub
- Awardee: The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
- Award: $15.3 million
- 44 hub members.