IBM, Microsoft to prototype new supply of semiconductors — Washington

Nick Wakeman

IBM, Microsoft to prototype new supply of semiconductors

IBM and Microsoft have been picked by the Defense Department to work on ways to secure the supply chain for microelectronics.

Under an Other Transaction Authority vehicle, the two companies will work on the Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes Advanced Commercial Capabilities Project. The OTA was issued by the Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trust Systems consortium. The consortium is focused on advancing the U.S. microelectronics industry.

Microelectronics also are called semiconductors and they provide the compute and analytics capabilities to power U.S. defense and national security capabilities.

RAMP’s goal is to use commercial industry’s expertise to create ways to bring semi-conductor design and manufacturing back to the U.S. as a way of securing the supply chain for these critical electronics components. 

The OTA is worth about $13 million to IBM and $12.5 million to Microsoft.

According to the consortium, current DOD methods for acquiring and manufacturing microelectronics are out of date and have been surpassed by commercial industries and by non-DOD markets.

This project will develop prototypes to improve techniques and processes by bringing commercial expertise to bear.

In addition to a more secure supply chain, DOD also wants lower power consumption, improved performance, reduced physical size and improved reliability. There eventually will also be a new intellectual property licensing and support model.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 21, 2020 at 11:23 AM

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