Arizona State University (ASU) is set to receive $17.5 million worth of investment from the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) to expand the state’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing capabilities.

The investment is part of a larger $100m state funding package for chip development in Arizona and the university’s cash injection will be used to purchase equipment for use at ASU’s MacroTechnology Works (MTW) in Tempe and expand the site’s research capabilities into advanced packaging, GaN (generative adversarial network), 6G, IoT, and machine learning.

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– Thinkstock / jenifoto

An expansion of the facility will also allow ASU to offer a number of workforce development initiatives, such as internships and joint university research programs. ASU is also partnering with Dutch semiconductor manufacturer NXP Semiconductors NV for a research and development project into GaN support for 6G.

“This new investment showcases Arizona’s continued commitment to advancing our semiconductor industry,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the ACA.

“We’re proud to support ASU with this exciting expansion, which will expand the state’s semiconductor supply chain and workforce development efforts while building on strategic efforts to establish an advanced packaging ecosystem in Arizona.”

Today’s announcement is just the latest in a long line of joint projects between the ASU and ACA. Backed by $30m of ACA funding, in July, the two institutes announced plans to create a Materials-to-Fab (MTF) Center, a shared research, development and prototyping facility in the university’s MacroTechnology Works building at ASU Research Park.

That same month, ASU said it would be launching a new supercomputer named Sol. The Dell-built machine spans 178 nodes and uses AMD Epyc 7713 CPUs alongside 60 GPU nodes: 56 with quadruple Nvidia A100 (80GB) GPUs each and four with triple Nvidia A30 (24GB) GPUs each.

Arizona is one of eight regional hubs selected by the Department of Defense as part of its Microelectronics Comms program. The hub – dubbed the Southwest Advanced Prototyping (SWAP) hub – was awarded $39.8 million to advance microelectronics research and development for technologies including AI hardware, 5G and 6G, and commercial leap-ahead technologies.