In a recent podcast episode, I interviewed Tom Smelker, of Mercury Microsystems, about the company’s role in providing safe and secure advanced packaging technologies for the UD DoD, as part of the SHIP program. SHIP stands for State-of-the-Art Heterogeneous Integrated Packaging. The company just opened a new facility in Phoenix Arizona, and since I wasn’t able to attend the ribbon-cutting (see photos below), I got my own private tour of the facility and thought I’d share it with you.

Tom started off by explaining what he means by trusted and secure microelectronics, and why it is critical for Mercury’s military, aerospace, space, and industrial customers. He then does a deep dive into the geopolitical climate, and how certain actors are trying to take away the technological advantage the US and its allies have. Tom explains why trusted and secure microelectronics are more important now than ever, as well as why it’s important to bring leading-edge 2.5D and 3D advanced packaging to its customers. We also discuss the impact of the supply chain issues on reshoring, procuring rare-earth minerals, and adhering to ESG efforts, as well as making sure their supply chain partners are trusted and secure.

On my tour of the facility, Tom described each manufacturing area. Talk turns to chiplet integration and Mercury’s role in the Universal Chiplet Interface Express.

We also talked about the opportunities Phoenix offers as a location for microelectronics manufacturing, and how Mercury believes in giving back to the community and investing in STEM education at an early age. Lastly, I asked Tom about the Chips Act, and where he thinks the $52 billion should be allocated. You can listen to the entire conversation below. 


Francoise von Trapp

They call me the “Queen of 3D” because I have been following the course of…

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