Dept. of Defense awards ASU $40M to build microelectronics hub

Arizona State University is one of eight research universities nationwide to be awarded this...
Arizona State University is one of eight research universities nationwide to be awarded this grant.(MGN)
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 12:31 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Arizona State University has been awarded $39.8 million by the U.S. Department of Defense to help build a microelectronics hub as part of the federal plan to build several innovation hubs leveraging the latest tech for future generations.

In Arizona, the center will be called the “Southwest Advanced Prototyping Hub,” or SWAP. Each regional hub will work on technological advances in the areas of Internet of Things computing (IoT), 5G/6G wireless and cellular communications, artificial intelligence hardware, quantum computing, electromagnetic warfare and other commercial lead ahead technologies.

“This is the first major national security-oriented research and development laboratory ever built in the state of Arizona, and Arizona State University is extremely honored to play a key role in making this happen,” said ASU President Michael Crow. The announcement comes as the Semiconductor Industry Association reports the share of manufacturing in the U.S. has shrunk from 37% in 1990 to about 12% today.

“Consistent with our warfighter-centric approach to innovation,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, “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… including the kinds of all-domain, attritable autonomous systems that we’ll be fielding through the Department’s recently-announced Replicator initiative.”

ASU is one of eight research universities nationwide receiving the award. The Department of Defense says over 360 organizations from over 30 states will be participating in the program, which is funded by a $238 million award from the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act. Federal officials say it is the largest award to date under that piece of legislation as the U.S. continues to provide semiconductor grants, provide funds needed for research investments and increases efforts for stateside chip manufacturing.

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