Date Awarded: December 2021
Award Amount: $999,963
Focus Region: Central Massachusetts
- Private sector: Analog Devices, Inc., Dell, Inc., General Dynamics Corporation, Google LLC, Intrinsix Corporation
- Academic research institutions: Northeastern, UMass Amherst, Quinsigamond Community College (QCC)
- Federally Funded R&D Center (FFRDC): MITRE
This new research center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will focus on the security of semiconductors and hardware critical to key innovation industries. The grant will establish a critical testbed for WPI and partners to work with private industry, utilizing new chip testing equipment that will be the first of its kind in the Northeast, and will develop training programs to support the workforce needs of technology companies in the region.
The Commonwealth's grant will co-invest in a two-year, $1,999,326 project to develop the new center. The state grant will fund the purchase of a new, high-sensitivity, high-resolution semiconductor failure analysis system, the first instrument of its kind in the Northeast.
As part of this effort, WPI will collaborate with QCC in Worcester to develop workforce training elements of the project, building on WPI and QCC’s partnership on projects focused on training in the photonics sector.
The new R&D tool and related workforce programs will address the strong security needs in the semiconductor industry, enabling integrated chip debugging & diagnosis, and failure analysis. These are critical tasks for the manufacture of secure semiconductors, which are key components of electronic products.
The new WPI center will offer private industry a secure, real-world testbed for product development, as well as a hub to engage with faculty and students on pilot projects. The involvement of key partners from across the region will also help promote the Commonwealth’s leadership in this critical security area and will lead to more rapid implementation of hardware security measures.
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