Sandia National Laboratories' silicon fabrication facility in Albuquerque,
N.M., has been accredited by the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide "trusted
foundry" services for both unclassified and classified integrated circuits.
The foundry accreditation represents an increase in scope to Sandia's
already-existing accreditation for design services.
The accreditation program is part of DoD's strategy to ensure that electronic
components used in U.S. military and national security applications are trustworthy.
Certification is necessary because the increasing offshore migration of all
sectors of the microelectronics industry comes at a time of increasing demand
for high-performance, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) from
U.S. military and national security agencies.
Sandia's Category 1A status, which requires the most stringent protection
measures, was awarded through the Trusted IC Supplier Accreditation Program
of the DoD's Defense MicroElectronics Activity (DMEA).
The trusted foundry accreditation is for Sandia's strategically radiation-hardened,
3.3-volt, 0.35-micrometer, SOI (Silicon-on-Insulator) CMOS (a widely used type
of semiconductor) process which produces custom low-volume, high reliability
ASICs. Sandia's silicon fab is optimized for radiation-hardened, analog and
mixed-signal microelectronics, custom digital ASICs and discrete devices. Sandia
uses 0.35-micrometer geometry to optimize performance for analog circuits resulting
in better device matching, higher supply voltages and broader signal dynamic
range than smaller geometry devices. Properly designed and fabricated, larger
devices are more likely to continue to perform in extended operating environments
of temperature fluctuations, shock and radiation.
In support of its primary mission as steward of the U.S. nuclear stockpile,
Sandia has developed and delivered microelectronic products for nearly three
decades. This expertise has also been applied to other national security needs.
These include ensuring the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and materials,
reducing the threat from chemical and biological weapons, and providing advanced
custom designs for other agencies involved in national defense. Sandia's
ASIC development team provides custom microelectronic products and engineering
services that fulfill the needs of a diverse set of customers.
Sandia focuses on high-reliability custom solutions for high-consequence applications.
An efficient and disciplined ISO 9001 certified process enhances chances for
silicon solutions successful on a first pass-through. Sandia offers a total
supply-chain solution for radiation-hardened integrated circuits and microsystems
by combining trusted ASIC design and fabrication with other in-house capabilities
in packaging, test, failure analysis and reliability.