SkyWater’s Florida Expansion Accelerates Domestic Advanced Packaging Capabilities for Microelectronics Manufacturing
“We see demand for domestic advanced packaging capabilities firsthand from our customers as we co-create emerging disruptive technologies. Our vision is to establish another SkyWater center of excellence in the U.S. that will broaden the company’s ability to serve as a ‘one-stop shop’ for process innovation, wafer fabrication and advanced packaging,” said Thomas Sonderman, SkyWater’s president and chief executive officer. “We are investing in these new capabilities today because they are critical to our customers’ product roadmaps and ultimately, to their continued success.”
Center for NeoVation FAQs
There is a growing demand for unique and increasingly differentiated packaging solutions. We see this need for advanced packaging firsthand from our customers as we co-create new disruptive technologies.
The partnership with Osceola County and BRIDG supports our vision to expand SkyWater’s ability to serve our customers’ growing needs. By extending our value chain, we provide a total solution from process innovation and wafer fabrication to advanced packaging, all in a Trusted, secure environment.
Another very attractive element is the Center of NeoVation’s engagement with imec, a world-leading technology research and development powerhouse. We will continue this engagement and hope to expand the site’s offerings with other exciting technologies from imec.
How soon after the agreement is signed will SkyWater assume operations at the Center for NeoVation?
There was a grant from the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) which requires the approval of any lease assignment. Osceola County has already begun the approval process with EDA, and once EDA approves, SkyWater will take over responsibility for the site. In parallel with EDA approval, SkyWater will begin engaging with the site starting February 1, 2021.
The University of Central Florida (UCF), former operator of the Center for NeoVation, will continue assisting with transition services through the end of February. UCF has already started the process of bringing the facility from its idle state back online. Once startup is finished, SkyWater will begin the process of qualifying the equipment and production capabilities.
Wafer processing will resume as soon as we can safely and efficiently restore operational capability to the facility and the wafer processing tools, hopefully as soon as early Q2. Production is planned to start at the end of 2021.
We will begin by hiring technicians and engineers as we resume operations. Former BRIDG employees and any other qualified applicants will be considered for available positions. As the business scales up at the Florida facility, we will ramp up hiring to meet those needs. At full capacity, we estimate the site will support 220 jobs in a variety of roles.
Yes. There are three existing government programs with BRIDG that are positioned to restart as soon as the facility is ready. These programs were put on hold last year and will start up again as soon as the machines are qualified and running. We have also had many discussions with other U.S. government and commercial customers who have interest in advanced packaging capabilities.
SkyWater, a pure-play foundry, thrives by serving the needs of a diverse customer base with our fabrication technology. We already engage with multiple other foundries in our Minnesota fab, and SkyWater Florida will gladly engage with government and commercial customers, including other foundries.
The facility is 109,000 sq. ft., which includes ~36,000 sq. ft. of cleanroom manufacturing space. In addition, SkyWater will be leasing office space in the OC office building directly adjacent to the fab.
Through the partnership of SkyWater and BRIDG, the Center for NeoVation will immediately serve as an epicenter for reshoring advanced packaging capabilities while also driving the realization of state of the art heterogenous integration solutions. The initial focus will be on interposers for advanced 2.5D and 3D integration, followed by other advanced packaging technologies.
The U.S. Congress has acknowledged the importance of advanced packaging for microelectronics through the recently enacted, bi-partisan National Defense Authorization Act of 2021, which proposes billions of dollars of financial incentives in support of domestic semiconductor development and manufacturing relating to the fabrication, assembly, testing, advanced packaging, or advanced research and development of semiconductors. The Center for NeoVation is poised to capitalize on this focus.
Yes. BRIDG will be an independent, non-profit entity and will be another channel for customers to engage with the site, along with SkyWater. This partnership is an excellent example of a public-private partnership (PPP) that serves the dual purpose of reshoring microelectronics technology and enabling access to advanced technologies for the U.S. government and commercial markets, all in a secure, production-oriented environment.