Anyone who laughed at the 28-nm “Baikals” and “Elbrus” can now laugh at the orders of the Pentagon. The US Department of Defense has signed a contract with GlobalFoundries for the delivery in 2023 of the first batch of chips made using the 45nm SOI process technology. Manufacturing will be handled by Fab 8 in New York State.
Until that day, GlobalFoundries had no contracts with the Pentagon to manufacture chips at the company’s new plant. The contracts for the military were carried out by two former IBM factories, which were transferred to the balance of GlobalFoundries five years ago.
For work on military orders, as you might guess, special measures are required in order to maintain secrecy. At Fab 8, none of this was foreseen from the start. The company just last year began adjusting work on the Fab 8 to meet the requirements of two key US regulations: ITAR (International Arms Trade Regulations) and EAR (Export Administration Regulations).
The agreement with GlobalFoundries is also considered as one of the first steps to support domestic microelectronics manufacturers by the US authorities. The decision to build advanced semiconductor plants in the United States was previously made by TSMC and Samsung, which once again puts Native American companies at a disadvantage. GlobalFoundries, Intel, Freescale (as part of NXP) and other not-so-large semiconductor companies in the United States are lagging behind their Asian competitors and may simply not survive without government assistance in one form or another. Now she starts to appear to them.
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