SkyWater To Build $1.8B Semiconductor Plant At Purdue University

In a public-private partnership with the state of Indiana and Purdue, SkyWater Technology will pursue CHIPS funding to build the fab site in West Lafayette, IN.

SkyWater Technology plans to build a $1.8 billion U.S. semiconductor R&D and production facility in West Lafayette, IN, thanks to a public-private partnership with the state of Indiana and Purdue University. The partners are working together to pursue CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) for America Act funding currently making its way through Congress. To be built on the Purdue campus in the Discovery Park District, the fab site will provide access to SkyWater’s development services, volume production and heterogeneous integration solutions the company currently offers in its Minnesota and Florida facilities.

Bloomington, MN-based SkyWater will continue implementing its co-investment business model through engagements with customers, suppliers and other agencies to ensure those resources are applied to advanced capabilities, new tools and scaled production.

“This endeavor to bolster our chip fabrication facilities will rely on funding from the CHIPS Act. Federal investment will enable SkyWater to more quickly expand our efforts to address the need for strategic reshoring of semiconductor manufacturing,” said Thomas Sonderman, SkyWater president and CEO. “Through our alliance with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Purdue Research Foundation, we have a unique opportunity to increase domestic production, shore up our supply chains and lay the groundwork for manufacturing technologies that will support growing demand for microelectronics.”

Purdue University, SkyWater
(Source: SkyWater Technology)

The new SkyWater facility will accelerate domestic semiconductor capabilities, ensure IP security and support a more resilient and comprehensive supply chain, providing competitive advantages for its U.S. government and commercial customers. By co-locating the fab at Purdue, SkyWater and its customers will benefit from close collaboration with the university and its pipeline of talent.

“SkyWater’s investment in a new state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing facility at Purdue’s Discovery Park District represents a major step forward and highlights the importance of public-private partnerships in fostering a robust and thriving domestic microelectronics industry,” said Dr. Devanand Shenoy, principal director of microelectronics, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering/Critical Technologies.

“Days like today prove that Indiana’s investments in the economy of the future, infrastructure and talent development are cultivating an environment that enables innovators such as SkyWater to choose Indiana,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “Our success and our mission to support industries of the future would not be possible without the incredible partnerships with our globally ranked universities, like Purdue University, helping us attract and retain quality, innovative talent.”

Based on SkyWater Technology’s investment and job-creation plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) committed up to $29 million in the form of conditional tax credits and $1 million in training grants. The IEDC also committed an investment of $20 million in redevelopment tax credits; up to $20 million in conditional structured performance payments; up to $500,000 in innovation vouchers; and $1 million in Manufacturing Readiness Grants. The incentives are performance-based, so the company can claim the benefits once it makes eligible investments in innovation activities and employees are hired and trained.

The SkyWater facility in Indiana will be the most advanced next generation fab, enabling mass customization of highly innovative solutions. This will ensure SkyWater plays a significant and pivotal role in:

  • Addressing and reducing the ongoing worldwide shortages of microelectronics
  • Positioning America to regain the leading edge in advanced and disruptive technologies
  • Diversifying the state economy with a considerable investment in a highly technical and future growth business
  • Generating collateral benefit by attracting similar businesses, ecosystem support contractors, and energy and utility supply chains to locate in the same vicinity, and
  • Educating and developing technology talent while also creating local jobs.

“Today’s announcement marks a dramatic advance toward multiple strategic goals of Purdue’s last decade: enriched academic and career opportunities for our students; new research possibilities for our faculty; a transformed, more attractive environment on and adjacent to our campus; and the latest demonstration that Purdue and Greater Lafayette are now the hot new tech hub of a growing, diversifying Indiana economy,” said Purdue University President Mitch Daniels. “Even for the place that specializes in them, this constitutes a genuine giant leap.”

A highly skilled manufacturing workforce, proximity to university engineering programs and semiconductor customers, the Scalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement (SCALE) program managed by Purdue and sponsored by NSWC Crane, strong domestic and international relations, and quality of life were factors SkyWater took into consideration when selecting Indiana for this project.