Meet the 8 Hubs of The Microelectronics Commons

December 7, 2023

In August of 2023, under the CHIPS and Science Act, the Department of Defense (DoD) selected eight awardees or “Hubs”, to build regional powerhouses that can advance microelectronic technical development. Each Hub will propose and submit projects within the Microelectronic Commons program. Commons is paving the way for a brighter future by accelerating domestic prototyping and cultivating a robust pipeline of skilled semiconductor professionals right here in the United States. Over the next five years, the DoD will release projects within the six designated technical areas, and each Hub will build technology for one or more of these areas.

Their expertise in these fields makes them the leaders in microelectronic technology within the United States of America. Each Hub is creating its own members who will support the development of new technology. The team at NSTXL takes pride in supporting each Hub as they efficiently move these innovations from conception to fabrication. Meet the eight Hubs of the Microelectronics program below. Listed in alphabetical order by the awarded organization.

Applied Research Institute,
Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons Hub (SCMC)

Based out of Bloomington, Indiana, the SCMC Hub is led by Brooke Pyne, the Executive Vice President of Innovation and Strategy at the Applied Research Institute (ARI). The SCMC Hub supports the following technology areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence/Hardware
  • 5G/6G Technology
  • Commercial Leap-Ahead Technologies
  • Electromagnetic Warfare
  • Secure Edge Computing/Internet of Things
  • Quantum Technology

SCMC is an innovation ecosystem that drives the growth of America’s microelectronics industry. The model attracts talent, secures investments, and bridges the R&D to production gap. It fosters collaboration for workforce development, innovation and infrastructure needs to achieve domestic microelectronics excellence.

AZ Board of Regents on Behalf of Arizona State University,
Southwest Advanced Prototyping Hub (SWAP)

The SWAP Hub is in Phoenix, Arizona, and is led by Grace O’Sullivan, the Vice President of Corporate Engagement and Strategic Partnerships at Arizona State University’s Knowledge Enterprise. The SWAP Hub supports the following technology areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence/Hardware
  • 5G/6G Technology
  • Commercial Leap-Ahead Technologies

The Arizona State University-led Southwest Advanced Prototyping (SWAP) Hub unites over 70 semiconductor and defense companies, academic institutions, and national laboratories from across the nation. The hub delivers flexible, low-cost microelectronics prototyping capabilities tailored to Department of Defense needs.

The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University,
California-Pacific-Northwest AI Hardware Hub (Northwest-AI-Hub)

The Northwest-AI-Hub is led by Professor H.-S. Philip Wong, who is based at Stanford University’s School of Engineering and is a Professor of Electrical Engineering. The Northwest-AI-Hub supports the following technology areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence/Hardware

The Northwest-AI-Hub is an innovative ecosystem and infrastructure comprising physical and virtual facilities. Its primary objective is to facilitate the lab-to-fab translation of AI hardware technologies, catering to regional and national needs.

Massachusetts Technology Collaborative,
Northeast Microelectronics Coalition Hub (NEMC)

The NEMC Hub is located in Westborough, Massachusetts and is led by Ben Linville-Engler, the acting Hub Director, in association with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. The NEMC Hub supports the following technology areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence/Hardware
  • 5G/6G Technology
  • Commercial Leap-Ahead Technologies
  • Electromagnetic Warfare
  • Secure Edge Computing/Internet of Things
  • Quantum Technology

The NEMC Hub comprises 100+ organizations in eight northeastern states, with a focus on defense-oriented microelectronics. Its technical expertise and resources enable it to address the six priority areas identified by the DoD. With a 70-year track record of driving DoD innovation and major defense industry partners, the NEMC Hub is poised to fulfill the vision of the Microelectronic Commons while stimulating job creation, startup growth and workforce development in the region’s advanced manufacturing and emerging technology sectors.

Midwest Microelectronics Consortium Hub,
MMEC

The MMEC Hub is led by the Hub’s CEO, Jackie Janning-Lask. The Hub is based out of Dayton, Ohio. MMEC supports the following technology areas:

  • Commercial Leap-Ahead Technologies
  • Electromagnetic Warfare
  • Quantum Technology

MMEC is a non-profit consortium uniting industry, academia and government to advance microelectronics tech in the U.S. Its collaborative ecosystem fosters innovation from lab-to-fab, empowers members to share knowledge, helps to develop the next-gen workforce and brings world-class innovation to scalable commercial production.

North Carolina State University,
Commercial Leap Ahead for Wide-bandgap Semiconductors Hubs (CLAWS) 

As the name suggests, the CLAWS Hub supports Commercial Leap-Ahead Technologies. The Claws Hub is based out of Raleigh, North Carolina at North Carolina State University. CLAWS is led by John Muth, a Professor of Electrical and Computing Engineering at North Carolina State University.

The CLAWS Hub is a program that aims to fast-track the production and integration of wide bandgap semiconductors for both civilian and DoD applications. The program focuses on four key areas:

  1. High voltage, high power Silicon Carbide power electronics
  2. III-Nitride electronics
  3. III-Nitride Photonics
  4. Ultra-Wide Bandgap devices

To achieve this, the program will enable research and pilot foundry capabilities with a transition path to volume manufacturing with assistance from industry partners.

The Research Foundation for SUNY, acting on behalf of SUNY Polytechnic Institute,
Northeast Regional Defense Technology Hub (NORDTECH)

NORDTECH’s five founding members who comprise the leadership team/governance committee of the hub include: NY CREATES, the University at Albany College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering (CNSE), Cornell University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and IBM. The NORDTECH Hub is led by James Turvey, the Interim Program Director.

The Hub supports the following technology areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence/Hardware
  • Commercial Leap-Ahead Technologies
  • Secure Edge Computing/Internet of Things
  • Quantum Technology

University of Southern California,
California Defense Ready Electronics and Microdevices Superhub (California Dreams)

The California DREAMS Hub is based out of Los Angeles, California at the University of Southern California. The Hub is led by Stephen Crago, the Associate Director at the Information Sciences Institute. The California DREAMS Hub supports the following technology areas:

  • 5G/6G Technology
  • Electromagnetic Warfare

The Hub consists of state-of-the-art compound-semiconductor labs and DoD-volume fabs. California DREAMS Hub has core facilities and workforce development partners situated across the nation. The users of the Hub will have access to MOSIS 2.0, which is a brokerage and engineering service. MOSIS 2.0 aims to promote innovation by facilitating lab-to-fab transitions, removing obstacles to prototyping and reducing fabrication cycle times.

Each Hub actively expands its network. Your company can collaborate with Hubs by visiting the website: Connect with a Hub – Microelectronics Commons

About Microelectronics Commons

The Microelectronics Commons program was awarded in 2023, after Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act to strengthen American manufacturing, supply chains, and national security. By investing in research and development, science and technology, and the future workforce, the United States is maintaining its position as the leader in the industries of tomorrow. The Microelectronics Commons was awarded through the The Strategic & Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S²MARTS), managed by NSTXL, which is the premier rapid OT contracting vehicle for the Department of Defense (DoD) in trusted microelectronics, strategic & spectrum mission, and other critical mission areas.

About NSTXL 

NSTXL is focused on building a network of innovators and creators across the most sought-after emerging technology fields. As an open-source platform, our approach was designed to encourage network growth and collaboration without stifling change. We support our network by providing commercial-term contracting, open-source technology discovery, modern-day marketing outreach, a strongly interconnected network for easy teaming and cybersecurity compliance support. 

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