Purdue University and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) jointly announced plans Wednesday (June 12) to establish a Center for Secured Microelectronics Ecosystem aimed at ensuring a secure supply of semiconductor chips and related tools all the way from the foundry to the packaged system.
TSMC, Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan, the world’s largest semiconductor contract manufacturer, and officials from Purdue University reached an agreement in Washington, D.C. during the Select USA Conference.
The center, to be located at the Purdue University West Lafayette, Indiana campus in collaboration with Purdue Research Foundation, will perform research to ensure a secure ecosystem for the manufacture of microelectronics systems.
“TSMC is pleased to have this opportunity to support Purdue’s world-class technology research,” said H.-S. Philip Wong, vice president of corporate research at TSMC. “As everyone’s trusted foundry, TSMC believes it would be beneficial to contribute to the development of a secure electronics ecosystem.”
The Purdue School of Electrical Engineering, with about 10 faculty members currently collaborating with TSMC at various individual levels, will lead the research and development in conjunction with TSMC.
“We are truly excited about this opportunity to significantly broaden and deepen the important partnership with TSMC. We anticipate the new center will begin operations at the beginning of the new academic year. At the start, we will focus on developing a secure microelectronics ecosystem,” said Mung Chiang, Purdue’s John A. Edwardson Dean of the Purdue College of Engineering. “We also anticipate that the partnership will grow in the next couple of years to include multiple U.S. universities.”
In February, the Semiconductor Industry Association reported that the global semiconductor industry posted sales of $468.8 billion in 2018, the industry’s highest-ever annual total, and an increase of 13.7 percent compared with the previous year.
“This industry is one of the most important for our global economy and security,” said Chad Pittman, vice president of the Purdue Research Foundation National Security and Defense Program Office and Government Relations. “The strengths in research and development of Purdue and TSMC will help support and advance this critical industry on multiple levels and help secure the ever-advancing microelectronics technology.”
The agreement also allows TSMC to help facilitate access to multi-project wafer shuttle runs to test the effectiveness of the proposed research and to assign representatives on the advisory board of the center to mentor specific projects.
Established in 1987 and headquartered in Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan, TSMC pioneered the pure-play foundry business model by focusing solely on manufacturing customers’ products. By choosing not to design, manufacture or market any semiconductor products under its own name, the company ensures that it never competes directly with its customers. Today, TSMC is the world’s largest semiconductor foundry, manufacturing 9,920 different products using 258 distinct technologies for 465 different customers in 2017.
About Purdue Research Foundation
The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue’s intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.