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Immediate Release

Readout of the Department of Defense Microelectronics Commons Site Visits to California and Arizona

Representatives from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) – Crane Division, and National Security Technology Accelerator (NSTXL) visited three Microelectronics Commons Hubs in California and Arizona to connect with Hub leaders, members, and staff, and engage with local government leaders, Jan. 22-26. 

As part of the implementation of the bipartisan "Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act" and President Biden's Investing in America agenda, the Microelectronics Commons (Commons) is already delivering benefits to the domestic microchip industry by closing gaps between federally funded research and commercial technology production as well as investing in the semiconductor workforce.

With $2 billion in funding from Fiscal Years 2023 through 2027, the Commons program aims to leverage these Hubs to accelerate domestic microelectronics hardware prototyping and for workforce development. The goal of the Commons is to connect regional organizations through Innovation Hubs to accelerate prototyping for technology that is vital to the Department of Defense (DoD), and to strengthen local economies through a workforce that supports those regions, complementing programs run by the Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation. 

The California Defense Ready Electronics and Microdevices Superhub (California DREAMS) site visit on January 22nd included representatives from Boeing; Northrop Grumman; Raytheon Technologies; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of California, Irvine; the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of Southern California (USC); the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, and other key stakeholders.  Discussions focused on 5G/6G and electromagnetic warfare microelectronics, two focus areas that are critical for national security. 

The Commons is accelerating cooperation and collaboration between industry, academia, and government, expediting project development by reducing set-up and coordination from one year to two to three weeks.  To address future semiconductor workforce needs, California DREAMS is also spearheading a certification process to create national standards.

The California-Pacific-Northwest Artificial Intelligence Hardware Hub (Northwest-AI Hub) site visit on January 24th included representatives from Intel; Lockheed Martin; Raytheon Technologies; SI Catalyst; Synopsys; Arizona State University (ASU); Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Purdue University; Stanford University; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of California, Davis. Mayor of Fremont Lily Mei and representatives from the Offices of Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor of San Jose Matt Mahan also attended.  Discussions focused on microelectronics for artificial intelligence, and Hub leadership shared that they have assembled a board with three other Hubs (California DREAMS, Southwest Advanced Prototyping, and Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons) and the University of Texas at Austin to drive their shared mission to domestically produce cutting edge AI chips. 

Northwest-AI is dedicating 20 percent of its budget to workforce development, which goes towards technician training, chip design classes, community college engagement, and K-12 engagement.

The Southwest Advanced Prototyping Hub (SWAP) site visit on January 26th included representatives from Applied Materials, Cadence, Deca Technologies, Raytheon Technologies, Synopsys, ASU, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Office of Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs.  Discussions focused on 5G/6G, AI Hardware, and Commercial Leap Ahead Technologies, as well as SWAP's representation and enablement of public-private partnerships.  Hub leaders have already presented a detailed account of intellectual property and licensing obstacles and a plan to work through them, advancing rapid project development.  

SWAP's plans to meet workforce development needs include leveraging ASU's alternative continuing education offerings to tailor learning pathways that could produce customizable curricula in the near future.

Current Hub efforts and resources are directed at establishing onshore capabilities to accelerate lab to fab transitions of microelectronics prototypes.  OUSD(R&E) and NSWC – Crane Division look forward to reviewing the Fiscal Year 2024 Call for Projects (CFP) submissions, announced last December. This CFP will provide up to $280 million to projects focused on domestic prototyping and fabrication of microelectronics, with the goal of building a sustainable pipeline of domestically produced, state-of-the-art microelectronics for the United States and our military.

Readouts of the following Commons site visits are forthcoming:

  • 30 January:  Massachusetts, where the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative leads the Northeast Microelectronics Coalition Hub (NEMC)
  • 1 February:  New York, where The Research Foundation for The State University of New York (SUNY) on behalf of The SUNY Center for Economic Development leads the Northeast Regional Defense Tech Hub (NORDTECH)
  • 5 February:  North Carolina, where North Carolina State leads the Commercial Leap Ahead for Wide-bandgap Semiconductors Hub (CLAWS)
  • 7 February:  Ohio, where the Midwest Microelectronics Consortium leads the Midwest Microelectronics Consortium Hub (MMEC)
  • 9 February:  Indiana, where the Applied Research Institute leads the Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons Hub (SCMC)

For more information, please visit the Commons website:

Office of the Secretary of Defense
CDR Timothy Gorman

Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering
Mr. Jason Lapadula
Director of Strategic Communications